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Clinton calls Trump-Putin summit ‘deeply disturbing’ at NYC festival

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Hillary Clinton at OZY Fest in Manhattan's Central Park.
Hillary
Clinton at OZY Fest in Manhattan’s Central
Park.

Screenshot/OZY
Fest


  • Hillary Clinton described President Donald Trump’s
    recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as
    “alarming on many, many levels.” 
  • Clinton headlined OZY Fest, a weekend of entertainment
    and politics, in New York City’s Central Park on
    Saturday. 
  • An eclectic line-up of mostly Democratic politicians,
    pop artists, and Hollywood celebrity-activists, including
    actress Rose McGowen, New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia
    Nixon, and model Naomi Campbell, catered to a largely
    millennial audience. 

Hillary Clinton on Saturday described President Donald Trump’s
recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin “alarming on
many, many levels” and called the secrecy surrounding the
president’s one-on-one meeting with the Russian leader “deeply
disturbing” during her appearance at a New York City festival on
Saturday.  

Clinton questioned the president’s motives when he failed to
defend the US intelligence community and blamed the US for poor
relations with Russia while standing beside Putin at a press
conference in Helsinki earlier this month.

“The great mystery is why this president has not spoken up for
our country, and we saw this most clearly in this recent meeting
with Putin,” Clinton said during a talk with billionaire
businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs.

The former secretary of state said that when she and others,
including President Barack Obama,
met with Putin
, they always had note-takers present to ensure
“there’s no mistake about what was said.” The only person in the
room with Trump and Putin was a translator. 

“This idea that somehow we are not sure where our own president
stands is deeply disturbing,” she said, calling Russian
interference in the 2016 election a “direct attack on our
democracy.” 

Clinton added that “we still do not know” what happened in the
meeting between the two world leaders and that Putin’s account of
their conversation hasn’t been challenged by the Trump
administration. 

“Putin is basically telling the world what was decided,” Clinton
said. “And we’re hearing crickets from the White House. Nothing
is being put out that is in any way contradictory or replacing
the Putin agenda with whatever Trump was doing.” 

Trump’s performance in Helsinki was met with bipartisan
condemnation, and even
provoked some of his staunchest supporters
in conservative
media to demand the president correct his statements.

Director of National Intelligence
Dan Coats
 criticized Trump’s comments, revealed that he
wished Trump had not met alone with Putin and was not aware of
the president’s plans to invite the Russian leader to Washington
this fall, and called Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016
election “undeniable” during
an appearance in Aspen on Thursday

OZY Fest’s identity crisis


Actress Rose McGowan speaks at OZY Fest.
Actress Rose McGowan
speaks at OZY Fest.

Eliza
Relman/Business Insider


Clinton’s talk took place amid a day of politics and music at OZY
Fest, a self-described “part music festival, part TED Talk, part
food fair” in Central Park, with an eclectic line-up of mostly
Democratic politicians, pop musicians, Hollywood
celebrity-activists, and intellectuals.

The third-annual event, put on by the five-year-old digital daily
news magazine OZY, has faced ridicule for its apparent
identity crisis. 

One
critic
 called this year’s event “a weird hot Dada
mess of Hillary’s Shadow Government throwing a party at the
park.” 

Others describe it as New York’s answer to Austin’s South by
Southwest.

“In years past, people who purchased a ticket to see Jason Derulo
have been totally wowed by Jeb Bush,” festival founder and
former MSNBC host Carlos Watson
told The Daily News

Ana Kasparian, a left-leaning political pundit and host of the
online news outlet the Young Turks who flew in from Los Angeles
to moderate two panels at the festival, called the festival
concept “awesome.” 

On Saturday, Kasparian moderated a discussion between Grover
Norquist, the conservative anti-tax activist, and South
Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford, who
lost his primary
to a right-wing challenger last month. 

“I like that the discussions don’t have this bloodsport feel to
them,” she told Business Insider. 

Indeed, Sanford — the former governor of South Carolina and a
staunch conservative — encouraged the crowd the keep up the
anti-Trump “Resistance.” 

“Make noise — it’s the squeaky wheels that get grease in
politics,” he said. 

After criticizing Trump’s approach to international trade,
Norquist also made an attempt to appeal to the millennial
crowd. “Come to Burning Man this year!” he called out at the
end of the panel. (Sanford and Norquist are two of just four
Republicans in the festival’s lineup). 


An interactive board at OZY Fest.
OZY Fest attendees wrote
what they predict will happen ten years from now on an
interactive board.

Eliza
Relman/Business Insider


Later on Saturday, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom
Perez, interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash, delivered an optimistic
prediction of Democratic success in 2018. Perez declined to
estimate the number of seats he thinks Democrats will pick up in
the House and Senate this fall, but insisted it would exceed the
23 additional House seats and two additional Senate seats the
party needs to win control of both chambers.

Perez called out Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who’s
mounting a longshot challenge to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, and added
that Mississippi’s Senate race could be important for
Democrats. 

“Ted Cruz has 100% name recognition and that’s precisely his
problem because to know him is to not like him,” Perez
said. 

The Sunday line-up includes Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, comedians
Chelsea Handler and Michelle Wolf, GOP consultant Karl Rove, and
Passion Pit. 

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