President Donald Trump “showed contempt for the American people” when he met with the Russian officials for a closed-door meeting in 2017, according to former Massachusetts governor William Weld.
In an interview with Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, Weld blasted Trump’s choice to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in May, 2017, not long after the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election began, and just after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey.
"That showed contempt for the American people if anything I've ever seen does,” said the former Republican governor, who may challenge Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020.
“Abroad, he seeks out the company of people who are dictators and despots,” Weld said later in the interview. “People like [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, like President Kim [Jong Un] of North Korea.”
“I do think the president has shown a tendency to associate with autocrats,” he continued. “I think his domestic instincts are in the same direction. I recall him saying on television, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to have elections?’ I’m sure he will say that was a joke — I’m not so sure it was a joke. I mean, the response to my announcement of an exploratory committee has been for everybody to close ranks among the state Republican Party’s and say, ‘No, we can’t have a primary.’”
“And the truth is — if the president had his first choice — he wouldn’t have a primary, and he wouldn’t have an election,” Weld said.
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