Brown: Russians Taped Private Trump-Putin Meeting
|Sen. Sherrod Brown (right)|
talks to me in 2016
When I asked Sen. Sherrod Brown this question, "Do you believe Trump would have won without Russia's interference?," he paused, then responded, saying "Clearly, Russia intervened on one side."
Brown, who's running for a third term this year, said he doesn't know the answer to my question, but hopes the special council investigation undertaken by former FBI chief Robert Mueller into the issue will provide the evidence that proves or disproves the belief held by many, especially Democrats, that Russia's vast meddling in the 2016 presidential election tipped the table to favor Donald Trump.
When asked if anything the President Trump has done or said so far justifies anyone leveling a charge of treason against him, Sen. Brown asked cautiously. "I did not levy that charge and I'm not going to judge what others say about him (Trump)."
Brown did say he doesn't understand Trump's attacks on long-standing allies and why he would make comments that undermine NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and then "throwing in with the KGB (Russia's equivalent of the CIA). Why would the president do that?"
Brown's view is that the nation is "overwhelmingly disturbed by this" and that the only people not disturbed by it are members of congress (virtually all Republicans) and a sliver in trump's political base.
"Virtually everyone I talk to is concerned what trump does for and with Russia," he said, adding, "NATO is the best idea post war that keeps Europe safe ... and more prosperous."
Responding to my question on the call that "Rob Portman said he takes Trump at his word that the president misspoke in his press conference with Putin. Do you agree with Portman's hold harmless comment on what Trump said he should have said about Russian interference in the 2016 elections?," Brown did not respond directly. He chose instead to say "the stakes are too high ... when talking about national security."
Meanwhile, Sen. Brown is still waiting for President Trump to say Russia hacked the election, as every Republican he said he's 's talked to believes happened.
Poll: Brown-Renacci tied among 'definite voters.'
|President Barack Obama speaks to a|
large crowd at OSU in 2012.
"Would it be a plus or minus for Democratic candidates including yourself if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton hit the campaign and didn't go into hiding as some might want them to do?"
Brown responded to my last question of the day by not responding to it. He said the question fell into the category of a political question and he wasn't going to use public resources to answer it, although he might do so if we were to meet in person.