Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said President Donald Trump “sold the American people out” during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Sanders, Vladimir Putin was invited to the White House this fall. Do you think it should be withdrawn?
SANDERS: Look, the truth is it’s hard to comment on anything that Trump says because he could change his mind tomorrow. But I will tell you that I was absolutely outraged by his behavior in Helsinki, where he really sold the American people out. And it makes me think that either Trump doesn’t understand what Russia has done, not only to our elections, but to cyber-attacks against all parts of our infrastructure, either he doesn’t understand it, or perhaps he is being blackmailed by Russia because they may have compromising information about him or perhaps also, you have a president who really does have strong authoritarian tendencies and maybe he admires the kind of government that Putin is running in Russia. And I think all of that is a disgrace and a disservice to the American people. And we have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere, not only in our elections, but in other aspects of our lives.
BRENNAN: Well picking up on that note, because there is some responsibility here in both parties to protect themselves. It was one of your campaign staffers who went to the Clinton campaign and Obama administration to say there was concerns, or suspicions here, of Russians spreading anti-Clinton messages. How do you protect yourself in the next race against something like that happening?
SANDERS: Well Margaret, Margaret that’s a great question and I don’t think anyone knows all of the answers, but one thing we do know. Is that we need a president who is going to do everything to work with statewide officials all over this country to make sure that when people cast a vote in November that vote is going to count. Congress has allocated money to beef up and strengthen the protection of our electoral system. The president has got to be aggressive in implementing that. We have a lot of work to do, but the integrity of American democracy is at stake. And we have got to do everything that we can to protect the integrity of our election.
BRENNAN: Senator Sanders and Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thank you so much for joining us in this exciting joint interview. Good to speak to you both. We’ll be back in a moment.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN