- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2019

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld slammed President Trump on Monday as an unfit leader who is tarnishing the Republican Party.

Speaking on CNN’s “New Day,” Mr. Weld highlighted Mr. Trump’s 2017 Oval Office meeting with top Russian officials, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as one moment that captured the president’s inability to be a reliable leader.

“That showed contempt for the American people if anything I’ve ever seen does,” Mr. Weld said.

He explained that he is troubled by the president’s approach to foreign policies and criticized Mr. Trump for seeking out the company of “dictators and despots” such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The former Libertarian vice presidential candidate also took aim at Republican members of Congress. He accused them of having Stockholm Syndrome and “identify with their captor,” so they don’t speak out against the president.

“There’s a hush over the Republican Party in Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Weld said.

Mr. Weld launched an exploratory committee for the Republican primary on Friday and could be the president’s first challenge from the right.

During his interview, Mr. Weld acknowledged that conservatives won’t be his base but is hopeful that he can sway independents in the primaries.

“I think he’s leading the country in the most fundamental way in the wrong direction,” Mr. Weld said.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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