If you visited the gallery of U.S. presidents this past week at the Colorado state Capitol, you may have noticed that in the spot where President Trump‘s portrait was supposed to be, someone replaced it with a portrait of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
According to CNN, the portrait was placed there by an unknown prankster on Thursday morning and was discovered during a routine tour.
Making the gallery especially vulnerable was the fact it hadn’t raised the money to commission the Trump portrait, leaving the space empty.
— Steve Fenberg (@SteveFenberg) July 26, 2018
Speculation regarding Trump possibly being compromised by Russia reached a fever pitch in the wake of his controversial press conference alongside Putin in Helsinki, Finland earlier this month, where Trump stood before reporters and provided almost 100 percent cover for Russia’s authoritarian leader.
At one point during the presser, a reporter stood up and asked Trump what, if anything, he’s willing to hold Russia accountable for especially in the wake of U.S. intelligence’s confirmation that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.
“Mr. President, you tweeted this morning that it’s ‘U.S. foolishness, stupidity, and the Mueller probe’ that is responsible for the decline in U.S. relations with Russia,” the reporter started out. “Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular? And if you do, what would you consider them — that they are responsible for?”
Trump dodged the question, saying that he holds “both countries responsible.”
“I think that the United States has been foolish,” Trump said. “I think that we’ve all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time, frankly, before I got to office.”
“And I think we’re all to blame,” Trump continued. “I think the United States has stepped forward, along with Russia, and we’re getting together and we have a chance to do some great things …”
Trump was given multiple opportunities to condemn Russia’s actions during the election, but each time he chose what seemed to be deference to Putin.
“All I can do is ask the question – my people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be but I really want to see the server but, I have confidence in both parties.”
According to Trump, Putin’s denial that he had anything to do with meddling in the U.S. election was “strong and powerful.”
CBS News reported that Trump’s top national security advisers “had advised him publicly and privately to adopt a more hawkish tone towards Russia” during the summit. On the Friday before the press conference, the Justice Department announced a new round of indictments against 12 Russians for their alleged attempts at election meddling.
Featured image via Twitter