Representative Adriano Espaillat said President Donald Trump was allowing his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to “outflank” the United States around the world while the American president kept himself busy tweeting.
The Democrat expressed his concerns related to the news from the U.K.’s navy that Russian vessels passed close to British territory over the holidays, The Hill reports.
“This is very concerning to me. This is an attempt by Putin to outflank the White House. Putin is pushing his military forces across the globe, in addition to his influence or his interference in the electoral processes. The president is allowing this to happen while he’s involved in tweeting and other kinds of distractions,” Espaillat told Brianna Keilar while speaking on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
He also warned that Russian election meddling similar to what allegedly happened during the presidential election could happen in other countries.
“Not only here in the United States, but in Germany and France. He’s looking to become a bigger player on the planet. And he’s outflanking, in many ways, President Trump. I’m very concerned that he’s moving forward, as a juggernaut, and that the president is allowing this to happen while he is involved in tweeting and other kinds of distractions,” Espaillat said.
At the same time, the British Navy informed that at least four Russian ships passed near their waters starting on Saturday. That day U.S. authorities warned that Russian submarine activity had increased near undersea NATO communications lines. British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said that he would not hesitate in defending British waters or tolerate aggression.
“Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests,” Williamson emphasized.