Rep. Adam Smith: There is no more Republican Party

Jul 26, 2018, 8:12 AM

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Rep. Adam Smith. (File, Associated Press)

(File, Associated Press)

Washington Congressmember Adam Smith is pressing the White House for a briefing on the recent private meeting between President Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

RELATED: Rep. Smith says Trump is going authoritarian on US

“I want to know what deals he might have cut with Putin,” Smith told Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio. “The Russians are reporting different agreements. They reported, for instance, that we agreed to cooperate with them in Syria. Which is something our central command commander said, ‘No, we are not going to do that.’ At this point, obviously, we don’t know anything, so we would like to know more about what he agreed to with Vladimir Putin, or not.”

Trump recently spent nearly two hours with Putin without any other United States representation in the room. The only people who know what happened in that room are Trump and Putin.

Smith represents Washington’s 9th Congressional District. He says that Congress is in the dark about the Trump-Putin private meeting. In fact, the White House has scrubbed all official documents about how Putin wanted Trump to win the 2016 election from records of the joint press conference that followed the meeting, Smith says.

“It’s perfectly legal for the president to have these conversations, but given everything else that has been going on around Russia and Vladimir Putin … The president is right on one issue: it would be a better world if Russia and the United States got along,” Smith said. “It would not be a better world if we got along with Russia at the expense of NATO and our European allies. What the president has shown is he’s willing to throw all our allies under the bus to continue his relationship with Putin, while at the same time, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge what everybody knows. And that is Putin interfered with the 2016 election to help Trump get elected. It’s an absolute fact and he keeps ignoring it.”

That fact is one reason why Smith is also pushing for more election security measures. His proposal to renew funding for election security did not pass. He doesn’t expect any backup from Republicans, either. Republicans in Congress are “not particularly anxious to stand up to President Trump on anything,” Smith said.

“Frankly … unfortunately, a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats agree (Russia meddled with our election) but the president doesn’t … the president has consistently undermined our efforts to protect election security in our country,” Smith said. “And there are multiple reasons why he might be doing that. But the bottom line is we know he is. And Republicans in Congress, as much as they say they disagree with the president, as much as they say they believe Russia interfered and want to do something about it, they are reluctant – the most polite way to put it – to do anything President Trump doesn’t want. They are afraid of him. There is no more Republican Party, there is the Trump party.”

Smith says that he knows the secretary of defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence community believe Russia meddled with American elections and want to do something about it.

‘Abolishing’ ICE

While chatting with Dave Ross, Smith also commented on proposed legislation that would essentially abolish the Immigration Enforcement Agency. But Smith wouldn’t put it that way.

“No. No, no,” Smith said. “This is very, very frustrating. It doesn’t matter if you abolish ICE. What matters is what is our immigration enforcement policy. If you abolish ICE and replace it with a different set of initials that puts in place the same policy, you don’t accomplish anything. Let’s focus on the substance of what ICE is doing with immigration enforcement. What they are doing is detaining and deporting far too many people. And they are engaged in these activities in a way that is not transparent.”

Smith’s proposal places immigration enforcement under the purview of the Department of Justice. It also aims to end privatized detention centers that are incentivized to house immigrants.

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Rep. Adam Smith: There is no more Republican Party