There have been almost no politicians who have supported President Trump’s performance in Helsinki. From U.S. officials to candidates for the upcoming midterm elections, a vast majority has stated that Trump’s actions were reprehensible and incredibly damaging to the country’s integrity. With this national consensus in mind, it is hard to empathize with Republican Senate nominee Corey Stewart, who recently caused controversy during a campaign debate with Democrat Senator Tim Kaine.

While discussing previous efforts from Kaine and the Obama administration to combat Russia’s interference with American politics, Stewart awkwardly stated:

Senator Kaine seems to be surprised that Russians are behaving, well, like Russians. They’ve been spying for years, and in fact he was noticeably silent when they shot down a Maylasian airliner when President Obama was in office. We have a president who is standing up to the Russians.”

This caused for the audience to erupt in laughter and for Kaine to notoriously mock him on stage, with even the debate moderators showing discomfort from Stewart’s statements.

A rivalry between Kaine and Stewart is nothing new to the world of politics, as the latter has always accused him of prioritizing his opposition to Donald Trump over anything else. Stewart has long argued that this preference prevents Kaine from making level-headed decisions in the Senate. He called him out for not supporting Trump-backed tax cuts and increases in military spending more, since they would help Virginia, the state he’s running for.  Stewart stated harshly: “Whether it’s good for Virginia or bad for Virginia, he opposes everything that President Trump does automatically”.

However, after having stated that Trump is showing a tough attitude to Russia, Stewart’s arguments were left useless. Kaine used the audience’s disagreement to chime in and criticize him, stating:

If there’s anything that demonstrates the difference between us, it’s Corey Stewart standing up here and saying that President Trump is standing up to the Russians. President Trump is caving to the Russians.”

He also stated that he has cooperated with Trump in some occasions, but that he usually puts Virginia’s interest as a priority.

Stewart has long been considered the least likely to win in the upcoming November elections. Taking aside the support that Kaine already has, he has been considered to be yet another conservative that focuses on personal attacks and uses false statements to back his proposals. This has also caused for the press to focus on other Senate races.


Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore