State Sen. Jason Barickman said he thinks President Trump did not acknowledge what a ruthless dictator Vladimir Putin is and where Putin's self-interest lies.
The Bloomington Republican said the country needs Trump to pay attention to his capable advisors.
"The manner in which he handled Vladimir Putin and the words that came from his mouth in that joint press conference are very concerning. The office of the president comes with a deep responsibility. Words matter," said Barickman.
Some Republicans worry Trump's unpopularity will sap GOP turnout in the November election.
Asked whether Trump is becoming a liability to Republicans, Barickman said Trump supporters still exist in the Republican Party.
"I think Trump as a bit of a standard bearer has some plusses and minuses. You saw that in his own election where the country was deeply divided, some with just an enthusiasm of support that seemed to be unprecedented," said Barickman.
Barickman acknowledged Democrats will try to tie state-level Republicans to Trump much as Republicans are trying to tie gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker to House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Barickman said it is up to all candidates to offer the picture of where they want the state to go.
Barickman represents portions of Bloomington-Normal, though the 53rd Senate District stretches north and east into Livingston and Ford counties.
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