Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Monday branded the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer offering to “dish some dirt” about Democrat Hillary Clinton as proof of direct contact between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
“He came forward and admitted it. It’s no longer speculation.”
After joining Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the opening of Amazon’s expanded corporate offices in downtown Chicago, Durbin also ridiculed President Donald Trump’s proposal to partner with Russia on cybersecurity.
“We were the victims of a cyberattack by the Russians, for goodness sakes,” Durbin said. “Our state was a victim. If you’re a registered voter in this state, they went after your name and identity. So this notion of some cybersecurity plan is naïve or just plain ignorant.”
In a flurry of Twitter posts Sunday morning, President Donald Trump bragged about talking to Putin about “forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.”
But, after being ridiculed on the Sunday talk shows, Trump appeared to reverse himself in a Sunday night tweet.
“The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!,” a reference to a cease-fire in a slice of Syria.
Durbin also expressed his profound relief about the bi-partisan veto override that ended the marathon state budget stalemate that he called a “self-imposed recession that has cost us jobs, that has damaged the reputation of great public universities that has really dragged down our reputation across America.”
Some political observers have argued that the override actually improves Gov. Bruce Rauner’s chances of winning a second term, because he can saddle the Democratic nominee and Democratic legislative leaders who support that nominee with an unpopular increase in the state income tax.
Durbin argued otherwise.
“What can Governor Rauner brag about now? He dragged us into this economic recession by his refusal to agree to a budget and about a third to a fourth of his Republican members said, ‘We’ve had it. We’re stepping away from the governor. We’re gonna try to solve this problem on a bipartisan basis.’ It doesn’t speak well for his leadership skills,” Durbin said.
“It’s the same tax increase proposed by Gov. Rauner. Now he’s gonna say he doesn’t like it? That’s politics.”
Rauner’s office had no immediate comment on Durbin’s remarks.