Dem lawmaker: Trump's 2nd meeting with Putin 'troubling' and 'a concern'
Posted July 19
President Donald Trump's decision to attend a second undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin without an interpreter is "troubling," said a Democratic member of the Senate intelligence committee.
"It's very concerning," West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told CNN's Chris Cuomo Wednesday on "New Day." "And it's something that we should know about. To go into it so-called naked without an interpreter from our side is troubling. It's a concern. It most certainly is."
The White House confirmed that Trump and Putin spoke for a second time on July 7 for nearly an hour in a previously undisclosed discussion. While Trump spoke with Putin through Russia's translator, the US translator at the dinner spoke Japanese, the White House said.
Manchin said he is awaiting the findings of Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into allegations that Trump's campaign colluded with Russia.
The congressman said transparency is "missing" in government if leaders want to gain the public's trust.
"Transparency in the public sector is much different than in the private sector," he said. "When you're in the public sector you have to gain the trust of constituents, those for and against you."
"In a transparent way, it makes it easier to respect that. That's what you build up in the public trust," Manchin added. "That's what is missing. That's what we need to be working on. All of us have to be cognizant of that."
Manchin, a centrist Democrat, organized a bipartisan meeting Tuesday between senators who were previously governors to discuss health care, according to the Hill.
Despite not having the votes for passage, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday night on the Senate floor that Republicans would hold a procedural vote on the health care bill "early next week."
"Now every demographic of my state of West Virginia, and you know my state, they're hit," he told Cuomo. "Whether they're elderly, pre-existing conditions, the poor, the young, everybody, opioid addiction, they'll be all devastated by this piece of legislation that's repealing."
Frustrated with collapse of Republicans' plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Trump told reporters Tuesday that he would now simply let Obamacare fail.
"We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us," Trump told reporters at the White House.
But Manchin said he could not support Trump's plan.
"I don't think that's an answer we agree on. It's something I don't subscribe to. I was here to do a job," he said. "Maybe with the votes and the defeat of the Republican's plan to just repeal, maybe now we can come together and move forward. That's what we're hoping for."