Kaine Criticizes ‘Cozy Bromance’ Between Trump, Putin

HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania — Sen. Tim Kaine again criticized Donald Trump Wednesday over his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, continuing his attacks on the Republican nominee in recent days.

“We are entitled to get the information to get to the bottom of this cozy bromance between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee said at a community center gym. “Would Trump, as president, help our allies block Russia from annexing more territory and destabilizing Europe where hundreds of thousands of Americans live and about 70,000 of our troops are deployed? And what if Russia engaged in some kind of cyberattack or other effort to destabilize an election in this country? Would Trump stand up against them?”

Citing Trump’s declaration at a March debate that he had “almost 120 deals” outside of the United States, Kaine questioned Trump’s potential conflicts of interest if elected president and what he said was the mogul’s lack of transparency regarding his business abroad.

“That’s 120 deals where there are at least potential conflicts of interest. We ought to be able to find out whether they are conflicts. One-hundred-and-twenty opportunities for those in other countries to influence him because they have influence on his financial condition,” Kaine said.

The Virginia senator referenced former acting CIA director Michael Morell’s assessment that Trump has been recruited as “an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” pointing to his foreign business dealings, including one with an associate of Putin to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. Morell made the statement earlier this month in a New York Times op-ed endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

Kaine has increasingly stepped into the role of vice presidential attack dog for Clinton in recent days. Last week, he said Trump was “pushing” the values of the Ku Klux Klan. He backed away from the comments a day later, telling reporters that Trump has some supporters “connected” with the KKK who are “claiming him.” And Tuesday, he suggested Trump wouldn’t stand up to a Russian cyberattack of the American election.