Rep. Franks defends Trump, slams Democrats over Russia

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Rep. Trent Franks, Republican. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5] Rep. Trent Franks, Republican. (14 July 2017) [Source: 3TV/CBS 5]
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

An Arizona congressman and one time critic of President Donald Trump is now defending the commander-in-chief over the latest Russian revelations.

"I don't think Democrats could find Russia on a map until they concluded that it could be somehow used to beat up Donald Trump," Rep. Trent Franks said Friday.

The dig by Franks, a Republican, follows new details about a 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russians with alleged ties to the Kremlin.

The fact Franks has emerged as a defender of Trump represents a complete flip for the Arizona lawmaker.

During the 2016 Republican primary, Franks made comments to the conservative news outlet, Breitbart, that Trump needed to be defeated because, "he does not represent the best the Republican Party has to offer."

"The more I know the guy, the more I see that, at his core, I think that he is truly committed to America," Franks said on Friday.

But Democrats have used the new Russian details to sharpen their attacks on the White House.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat from Arizona, isn't waiting for the conclusion of congressional and independent investigation to render judgment.

While appearing on CNN, Gallego said he's convinced Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in law Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, committed a crime by taking the June 2016 meeting.

"What are you trying to hide, why did you go through so many different and weird lies to hide this meeting if it was as innocent as you say it is," he said.

But Gallego wasn't willing to follow other Democrats who've accused Trump's close advisers of committing treason.

"If there's illegal acts that occurred, they're still illegal, whether they were treasonous or not that's a different story and that's not where we need to go."

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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