Congressional Republicans are upset with President Donald Trump for not taking a harder line against Russian President Vladimir Putin during Monday’s joint press conference, and they are letting him know.
Republicans in the House and Senate put out statements of condemnation Monday following the press conference, calling out the president for looking weak and throwing their support behind special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The president refused to acknowledge that Russian agents attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, causing many within his own party to throw criticism his way. Trump was expected to take a hard line against Putin and address election interference and other topics, like the Russian annexation of Crimea, during the press conference. (RELATED: Trump Talks Putin Election Meddling)
Russia has a track record of meddling in elections – not only ours in 2016, but around the world. I support the Mueller investigation in getting to the apolitical truth.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) July 16, 2018
The American people deserve the truth, & to disregard the legitimacy of our intelligence officials is a disservice to the men & women who serve this country. It’s time to wake up & face reality. #Putin is not our friend; he’s an enemy to our freedom.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 16, 2018
A person can be in favor of improving relations with Russia, in favor of meeting with Putin, and still think something is not right here.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) July 16, 2018
Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.
This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves. (1/3)
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018
I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 16, 2018
Hatch on the Trump/Putin summit in Helsinki:
“Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Our nation’s top intelligence agencies all agree on that point. From the President on down, we must do everything in our power to protect our democracy..” (1/3)
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) July 16, 2018
Another GOP senator joined his colleagues to speak out against the president’s remarks. GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska called the president’s remarks Monday “bizarre and flat-out wrong.”
“The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression,” Sasse wrote in a statement Monday. “When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.”
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