On Friday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," conservative journalist Bill Kristol fiercely criticized President Donald Trump for his chummy "no collusion" phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I'm not sure we can" trust the democratic system anymore under Trump, said Kristol, who edited the right-leaning but Trump-skeptical Weekly Standard until the magazine folded late last year. "I hate to say that as an American."
"As a candidate, Donald Trump behaved badly," Kristol continued. "He didn't stop the Russians from trying to help him and so forth. But he is president of the United States. If the president of the United States, dealing with the president of an adversary which has interfered, to say the least, in our election, which has interfered in Venezuela and until yesterday, I thought we were on the side of the people of Venezuela seeking freedom, now he has a conversation with Putin and reports in a very smug way that they agree on the Russia hoax."
"He seems to be saying that he even agrees there was no interference, that he disagrees with the intelligence community or the Mueller report," said Kristol. "And then on Venezuela, which has gotten too little attention in my opinion, he has totally undercut our foreign policy in a very important area where people have gone into the streets and been killed. I mean, that's partly a result of them thinking we were on their side, and now it turns out, everything's fine, we're with Putin, there's no problem with Russian troops there. And it is contrary to what the Secretary of State said."
"The degree to which I think your question gets to this, this isn't just about 'gee, Trump contradicts himself a lot and gee, Trump watches out for himself and he lies,'" said Kristol. "Trump is really damaging American interests in the world when he says these kinds of things."