On "America's Newsroom" on Thursday, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said he believes that Russia should be named a state sponsor of terror.

Gardner's remarks came just days before President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which will take place Monday in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday.

During a press conference on Thursday, Trump said Putin is not an "enemy" but a "competitor."

“Is he your friend? No, I don’t know him very much. But the couple of times I’ve met him, we’ve gotten along well," Trump said. "Hopefully, someday, maybe he’ll be a friend. It could happen."

Gardner, however, took issue with Trump describing Russia as a mere "competitor."


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"If you're running in a race and you've got two great runners in the race and they're just trying to beat each other to the finish line, there's a difference when one of those runners tries to trip the other runner as they get to the finish line," Gardner said.

He said that is what we continue to see from Putin.

"I think that Russia, quite frankly, ought to be named a state sponsor of terror," Gardner said, pointing to Russia's involvement in Syria, the annexation of Crimea and the chemical attack on a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom.

He said he hopes Trump uses Monday's meeting to express to Putin how the U.S. strongly disagrees with Russia's "continued violations of international law."

"We can be competitors -- we are competitors -- but we also aren't going to be turning a blind eye or turning away from illegal activities."

Watch more from "America's Newsroom" above, and be sure to watch Chris Wallace's exclusive interview with Putin after the summit on Monday.


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