On Monday, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a joint press conference in which the Russian President gave Trump a soccer ball to commemorate the World Cup.
The press conference, in which President Trump reiterated his belief that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election, generated rare bipartisan agreement: prominent Republican and Democratic lawmakers agreed the meeting was a catastrophe for US global interests.
Even Fox News was critical of the President.
In an op-ed titled, “Putin eats Trump’s lunch in Helsinki — This is no way to win against Russia” Fox News analyst Douglas E. Schoen argued that the President’s performance was deeply disappointing.
“There was nothing inherently wrong with Trump’s summit with Putin. In fact, I would argue that in many cases, some of the best diplomacy comes through face-to-face meetings with adversaries,” he argued. “Still, the meeting was highly problematic in how little Trump delivered on the serious issues surrounding Vladimir Putin and Russia’s place in the modern world.”
Schoen goes on to criticize President Trump’s performance.
“President Putin was calculated and in control. Conversely, President Trump seemed to lack authority, praising Putin when he should have been condemning him, and ceding opportunities to confront Putin on his most egregious actions of the past decade – including meddling in the 2016 election and the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014,” he said.
He also condemned Trump’s attacks on US intelligence agencies.
“For a sitting U.S. president to say publicly that he believes a foreign leader over his own intelligence team is shocking and admonishable. At a time when our democracy faces grave threats, it is deeply troubling that the president would side with the very country who attacked us.”
Schoen, who founded a political consulting firm with Democratic operative Mark Penn, has previously worked for Hillary Clinton.