Van Hollen, Murray, Portman, Carper

Executive Session (Oldham Nomination)

Senator Van Hollen: (4:43 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the meeting between President Trump and President Putin.
    • "But, Mr. President, until now, until this moment in our history, the principles and values that I outlined have been the guideposts and cornerstones for American presidents, Republicans and Democrats alike, since the end of World War II. And with those guideposts, we have built some very important international architecture, our alliances, international institutions or international agreements. But today, sadly, we have a president who has gone absolutely rogue on the time-tested bipartisan tenets of American foreign policy, whether it's the way he attacks or berates our allies or consistently goes out of his way to praise dictators like Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong un or other autocrats around the world."

 

Senator Murray: (4:54 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the meeting between President Trump and President Putin.
    • "Many Republican members of Congress are acting if they just have a Twitter feed, as if they aren't the party in control of the Senate and House, as if they don't have the ability to make a difference and demand change. That is absurd. The time for hand wringing and hoping the problem goes away is over. With the power to call up legislation and hold hearings, Republican leaders do have options, and they certainly have a lot of Democrats who stand ready and willing to help. Because, Mr. President, it is truly horrifying and deeply alarming that President Trump failed to use that moment to push President Putin to end his attacks on our country and our elections, and failed to condemn the Kremlin's interference in the election of our allies."

 

Senator Portman: (4:58 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the meeting between President Trump and President Putin.
    • "I was pleased to see President Trump's clarification today, the Russians did metal in our election, that's the consensus not just of the intelligence community but it's the consensus here among our own intelligence committee House and Senate led by Republicans. I will say that Congress has pushed pretty hard against some of the Russian visitor not just the meddling but the illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia's support of the Assad regime which has caused pain and agony. We have passed historic sanctions here on Russia. Should we look at additional sanctions? I'm hopeful to that. We've also provided for the first time ever lethal weapons to the Ukrainians to be able to push back on the eastern border of Ukraine. I pleaded with the Obama administration to provide such weapons, and they never did."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
    • "And indeed he is. I now sits on the D.C. Circuit, the second most powerful court in the land. He has gotten positive reviews. Important to me is not just someone's qualifications and their legal background but also their character. Character is incredibly important for a Supreme Court that's going to have to deal with so many issues, important issues to us and our families going forward. This guy is someone of deep and strong character. He's compassionate, he has the humility to be able to listen, he's got a big heart. I have known this fight for over 15 years. He served in the second Bush administration. I also served there, got to know him and his wife there, and before that as well, during the campaigns. This is somebody who is, to me, not just a legal scholar and a judge but a friend."

 

Senator Carper: (5:06 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the meeting between President Trump and President Putin.
    • "There is no question. That's what they've done. But our president chose to ignore that and instead of admiring and speaking to the work of the intelligence agencies and concurring with them yesterday he decided to side with an authoritarian thug Vladimir Putin. That's a defining moment in our nation's history. I think it is a sad moment in our nation's history."
  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
    • "I am going to go to page 2 here today with respect to Brett Kavanaugh. I voted for him. There were about a dozen Democrats in 2006 that voted for cloture. Four of us voted for - Robert Byrd, Mary Landrieu, I think Ben Nelson and I voted for confirmation. We voted, if you will, our hopes rather than our fears. But we voted in part because of what we learned from others who knew him, who worked with him and who admired him. I'll just flat out, if I had known then what I know now about the kind of decisions he would write and support over the next -- the following 12 years, I would not have voted for him in 2006."