The FBI’s overnight release of Carter Page surveillance documents, US President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and future US moves with Russia dominated discussion on this week’s Sunday political shows.
The Sunday shows are typically where DC heavyweights debate the policies of the week. They include: ABC’s “This Week”, CBS’s “Face the Nation”, CNN’s “State of the Union”, Fox’s “Fox News Sunday”, and NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
Here are this week’s highlights.
Carter Page downplays his Russian connections after the release of documents on FBI surveillance of him
On CNN’s “State of the Union”, former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page walked back his role and wouldn’t detail his relationships with Russian officials, hours after the FBIreleased documents related to his surveillance.
Host Jake Tapper read from a document that Page once described himself as “informal adviser” to the Kremlin. Page called this “spin” and didn’t go into further detail.
An application the FBI filed in October 2016 said the surveillance was necessary because “The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian Government.”
“I’ve never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” Page said on Sunday.
Michael Avenatti says Michael Cohen has more Trump tapes and is “ready to tell the truth”
Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing porn star Stormy Daniels, said Sunday that Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen had multiple recordings of conversations with Trump, and that he knew what was on some of them.
Avenatti said on ABC’s “This Week” he could confirm there were multiple tapes and demanded a clear statement from the Trump administration.
“My accuracy rate over the last six months has been spot on in this case,” Avenatti said. “Let me tell you this, if I’m wrong, then why don’t we have Mr. Trump or his attorneys come forward today, right now and claim there are no other tapes?”
After running into Cohen in a Manhattan restaurant, Avenatti said he expects Cohen is “ready to tell the truth” about Trump.
“I think you have seen an evolution by Michael Cohen over the last month or so with the retention of Lanny Davis and others,” Avenatti said, referring to the recent addition of a member of former President Bill Clinton’s special counsel to Cohen’s legal team. “I think he is ready to tell the truth.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham urges Trump to strengthen US infrastructure ahead of 2018 elections
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina urged Trump to realign his relationships within the government and strengthen US infrastructure before the midterm elections and a planned White House meeting with Putin this fall.
“Do not meet with this guy from a position of weakness,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation”. “You need to be the leader of that movement and you need to work with Congress to come up with new sanctions because Putin’s not getting the message.”
Sen. Marco Rubio calls for upping Russian sanctions and pushes back on Trump’s claims his campaign was spied on illegally
Sen. Marco Rubio said newly released documents that show how the Department of Justice got authorization to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were justified.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, the Florida Republican told host Jake Tapper he has a “different view” on the meaning of the documents from Trump, who tweeted hours earlier that they prove his campaign was being “illegally spied upon”.
“I don’t believe that them looking into Carter Page means they were spying on the campaign. I also don’t believe it proves anything about collusion,” Rubio said. “He was a guy that was on their screen even before the campaign.”
He continued: “I don’t think it’s part of any broader plot. The only plot here is the plot to interfere in our election by the Russians.”
Rubio also echoed Graham’s urges when he pushed a new bill that would impose sanctions on Russia if they interfere in future elections.
“What I think is indisputable is that they did interfere and they will do so in the future,” Rubio said. “If our bill passes and the director of national intelligence says they interfered in 2018, these very tough sanctions will hit them. So Putin knows going in, what the price of doing so is.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy says the “disconnect” between Trump and US intelligence “cannot continue”
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy reacted to Trump’s meeting with Putin, where the president appeared to blame the US for current tensions with Russia after the special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians on suspicion of election interference.
“The evidence is overwhelming,” Gowdy said on “Fox News Sunday”. “It can be proven beyond any evidentiary burden that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016.”
Trump has since walked back his comments to say he does have faith in US intelligence, but Gowdy said the flubbed meeting was a “missed opportunity” for a power move.
“The president either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisers need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration,” Gowdy said. “But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming, and the president needs to say that and act like it.”
Read more: Fox News