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Maryland Gov. Hogan criticizes Trump, calls Putin a 'thug'

Gov. Larry Hogan added his voice to widespread criticism of President Donald Trump's Monday appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Trump "failed to stand up for our country."

In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, Hogan wrote:

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“I remember when President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the evil empire. Not much has changed. Putin is a thug & his actions against our democracy are despicable. On this I agree with our intelligence community. President Trump failed to stand up for our country yesterday.”

Hogan’s tweet linked to an article from the Reuters news service about the backlash Trump has received after saying he accepted Putin’s claim that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election — a statement contrary to the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies. Trump has come in for harsh criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, with some equating the president’s statement to treason.

The governor’s statement is a stronger than usual condemnation of Trump, also a Republican. Often, Hogan’s criticism of national-level issues place the blame on Washington generally, and he rarely calls out the president by name.

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Hogan spent Tuesday on the Eastern Shore, where he held a cabinet meeting in Cambridge and had events planned in the region throughout the day.

Several hours later, Hogan’s Democratic opponent, Ben Jealous, issued his own statement: “Donald Trump has never represented the best of America and he was no different standing alongside Putin. Trump’s act of treason is another reminder we need governors with the courage to consistently call out his appalling behavior, not just during an election year.”

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