WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten responds to President Trump’s meeting and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin:
“Today is a dark day for America. There is little if no doubt Russia interfered in the 2016 election, yet the United States president is supporting Russia, an American adversary with an autocratic leader, rather than standing up for his country. While not surprising, given Trump’s repeated attempts to undermine the Mueller investigation and attack the press and Democrats rather than do what is necessary to protect our nation from foreign meddling in our elections, it is still a stunningly tragic moment for those who have fought for American democracy.
“The American people have a right to expect that Trump will be faithful to the solemn oath he took to defend the Constitution against all enemies and be loyal to the democratic institutions in our republic. Today, we have been disappointed on both counts.
“This is not normal, it is beyond dangerous, and we must not be silent. We must defend democracy at this most crucial moment since the rise of fascism and authoritarianism in the 1930s. AFT delegates recommitted themselves to this at our convention. Today’s behavior raises the stakes of the November elections as critical for creating a check on this president and for protecting our democracy, and it is time for Republicans in Congress to stop excusing this president and start holding him accountable for the damage he is doing to our country.”