Roland Martin didn't mince words about Donald Trump's pandering to a foreign adversary: "He has been co-opted by Putin and co-opted by Russia. Let's not dance around this."
Veteran journalist Roland Martin ripped Donald Trump on Sunday for his weak posture towards Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"He has been co-opted by Putin and co-opted by Russia," Martin said succinctly.
On Saturday, Trump told reporters at an overseas press conference that he believes Putin when he says Russia didn't interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump later tried to walk back the statement in the face of widespread criticism, but quickly followed up by saying he doesn't want to enforce sanctions on Russia because he'd rather be friendly with the country that wants America to fail.
Addressing Trump's comments in an appearance on MSNBC's "Live With Alex Witt," Martin nailed Trump for capitulating to Putin instead of prioritizing American interests.
"This man talks about 'make America first' and 'put America first.' He can't even respect American intelligence," Martin said.
Even after Trump's own intelligence chiefs repeatedly reiterated their confidence in the January 2016 assessment of Russian election interference, "he still doesn't believe it," Martin added, referring to Trump's ongoing attempts to delegitimize the U.S. intelligence community.
"He has been co-opted by Putin and co-opted by Russia," Martin said. "Let's not dance around this. It is embarrassing."
And he had a simple message for Trump: "Grow up."
MARTIN: This man talks about 'make America first' and 'put America first.' He can't even respect American intelligence. When you have his own CIA pick have to come out and reiterate that the intelligence agencies believe Russia is involved in meddling, and he doesn't believe it — he has been co-opted by Putin and co-opted by Russia. Let's not dance around this. It is embarrassing. This man has no respect for the office of President of the United States. So, therefore, he wants us to respect him? I'm sorry, grow up, Donald Trump.
Trump campaigned as a strongman who would put "America first" and make the rest of the world respect us. He has governed as a weak-willed incompetent who fails to advocate for U.S. interests, even in the face of attacks on our democracy, and routinely embarrasses the nation.
While the rest of the world is laughing at him, perhaps Trump can find solace in the fact that Putin is likely very proud of his pandering.
But the nation, and the world, would be better off if Trump were capable of heeding Martin's advice to grow up and act like an actual president.