A GOP congressman and former FBI agent says he thinks President Trump has been manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Brian Fitzpatrick told NPR's Michel Martin about All Things Considered that he drew this conclusion after the two leaders appeared in Helsinki
"The president was manipulated by Vladimir Putin," said Fitzpatrick. "Vladimir Putin is a master manipulator."
The Helsinki Summit came a few days after Special Adviser Robert Mueller filed a lawsuit against 12 Russian intelligence agents accused of hacking democratic emails and spreading confusion around the 2016 elections.
Fitzpatrick sits on the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Internal Security. In his former role as a special agent of the FBI, he said he had been transferred to Ukraine and had counter-intelligence and collected Russian propaganda reports.
He said to Martin that he was "disgusted with the exchange" between Trump and Putin.
The Congressman representing the 8th District of Pennsylvania said he shared his views with the former CIA agent and his countryman Will Hurd from Texas. Hurd recently wrote in The New York Times that Trump "actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign".
American intelligence agencies have stated that they are sure that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections. Trump seemed to question that conclusion in Helsinki. He has also scheduled an investigation by special advisers Robert Mueller on the "witch hunt".
Some republican leaders have joined the president. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio has demanded that the Mueller investigation be terminated. The House House Intelligence Committee ended its Russia investigation and said it found no evidence of a collusion. House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows was confronted with charges against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Others have held back. After the meeting in Helsinki, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan made a statement: "There is no question that Russia has intervened in our election and continues to try to undermine democracy here and around the world."
Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, added: As I have repeatedly said, the Russians are not our friends, and I totally agree with the assessment of our intelligence community.
Arizona GOP Senator John McCain said, "No former president has ever succumbed to a tyrant. "
Fitzpatrick has acknowledged to NPR that he co-funded a house law in support of Muller's investigation, which was introduced in April but has yet to happen," he said Sunday, "not nearly enough in the White House". given Russia's role in the 2016 elections, condemned the "mixed signals" sent by the government on this issue
"It must be accepted by all in our government because we need to respond to this reality and it represents a significant threat. We can not let that happen again, "Fitzpatrick said.  He pointed out that his electorate was stunned." Fitzpatrick recalled a voter approaching him in a supermarket. "They were just confused about what Exactly what message we send, "he said.