PoliticsForeign Policy


Congress Reacts To Trump's Meeting With Putin

Members of the president's party are criticizing his comments in Helsinki.
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 16, 2018

While the mood between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin was friendly during Monday's summit, the reaction from Congress was not —   especially from members of the president's own party.

"Everyone who's dealt with Putin understands fully that the best way to deal with him is through strength," said Sen. Bob Corker. "I just felt like the [U.S.] president's comments made us look, as a nation, more like a pushover, and I was disappointed in that."

Trump is being criticized for refusing to say he believes the investigation completed by U.S. intelligence agencies that found Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. 

"[Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me, and some others, and they said they think it's Russia," Trump said. "I have President Putin, he just said it's not Russia."

Sen. John McCain, an outspoken Trump critic, wrote: "Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. ... It is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake."

House Speaker Paul Ryan released a similarly critical statement as well, saying, "There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world." He added, "The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally" and that the U.S. should hold Russia accountable.