VIDEO: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet says ‘Putin couldn’t ask for a better friend’ than Donald Trump

Author: Ernest Luning - July 14, 2017 - Updated: July 17, 2017

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet speaks at a fundraising dinner for Jefferson County Democrats on Sept. 26. 2015, at a Lakewood hotel. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet speaks at a fundraising dinner for Jefferson County Democrats on Sept. 26. 2015, at a Lakewood hotel. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said Russian President Vladimir Putin “couldn’t ask for a better friend” than President Donald Trump on Thursday during a discussion with a bipartisan group of lawmakers sponsored by CBS News.

After a Republican congressman from Texas said Russia should face consequences for “interfering in our democracy,” Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, said Trump disagreed with that assessment and meanwhile was “running down NATO, he’s running down the European Union.”

The exchange took place at a wide-ranging roundtable moderated by CBS News contributor Frank Luntz that aired Friday on CBS This Morning. Bennet was among a dozen senators and members of Congress, including six Democrats and six Republicans.

When the discussion turned to former FBI director Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said he had full confidence in Mueller. He added that the House would soon produce a sanctions bill against Russia.

Bennet responded, “The only person who disagrees with the chairman is the president. And while he disagrees with it, he’s running down NATO, he’s running down the European Union. Putin couldn’t ask for a better friend than that.”

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Mike Kelly said the probe into Russia’s meddling was distracting Congress from its real job, which he said was “getting people back to work, seeing wages rise again, seeing families be able to be together.”

Gesturing emphatically, Bennet broke in.

“But congressman, but look, we come here week after week after week — with respect, week after week after week — and do nothing. We don’t pass any legislation,” he said. “We don’t walk and chew gum at the same time. The American people expect us to do that. The Russians attacked our elections. We need to respond to the Russians. And we need to do the work you’re talking about on the economy. We need to do both. What we don’t need to do is come here week after week after week and do nothing.”

Bennet later tweeted a video clip of the exchange, adding, “We can respond to the Russian attack on our elections AND work to improve our economy. They are not mutually exclusive. We must do both.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.


  • Russell

    July 16, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Bennet is a typical Democrat who just wants to take more of taxpayers money and secure his million dollar retirement. He can care less about what’s good for America.

  • ME White

    July 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Oh, how wrong you are Bennet. His best friend is Hillery–SHE is the one that sold him 20% of our uranium. I am sure you know why the Bundy’s were ran over by the BLM. Killery sold the uranium under the land they were grazing their cattle on!

    Now, you had better investigate the Democrats–It is a known fact that Hillery and Obama both talked to Putin about helping Hillery. Another election is coming up–you had better clean you act up or you will be OUT!

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