Eunice Bentley’s July 17 letter (“Our country is suffering through a degrading of its core principles”) expressed poignantly much of the frustration and anger I am feeling about Donald Trump’s meetings with NATO and news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Congress should have demanded that President Trump have advisers with him during his two-hour meeting with Putin. Only time will tell how much damage was done during that meeting. After our president’s dereliction of duty during his joint news conference in failing to stand by his own intelligence community and the Constitution he was elected to uphold, much more than the wringing of hands and admonition of a handful of Republicans is essential.

Congress must demand that the president address the American people formally (not via tweet) to assure us that he works for us, that he will uphold the principles of our Constitution and that he does indeed believe in our democratic institutions. The failure of Congress to demand such an action implicates them in the president’s efforts to chip away at our democracy. The only takeaways the president left us with after his time in Europe are these:

1. He does not wholeheartedly support or even understand NATO.

2. He is in the thrall of Putin and the Russian leader’s conception of a new world order.

A number of Republicans have said that Putin is not our friend. They need to do much more to demonstrate that they, too, are not smitten by the idea of a new world order and jettisoning of our democracy.

Barbara Conroy

Portland


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