'An absolute disgrace': Republicans blast Trump for his 'disgusting' press conference with Putin

  • Republicans blasted President Donald Trump for his remarks at a press conference Monday alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Republicans said Trump's performance was "shameful," "an absolute disgrace," and "moronic."


Republicans blasted President Donald Trump for his performance during a press conference Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

The press conference, which followed an hours-long private meeting between Trump and Putin, featured the president casting doubt over the US intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. He also attacked his Democratic opponents and the FBI, and said he holds both countries accountable for their state of relations while asked about the election meddling.

"My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me, some others, they said they think it's Russia," Trump said, referring to the Director of National Intelligence. "I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be."

Photos from the meeting: 

15 PHOTOS
President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland
See Gallery
President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16, 2018: The national flags of Russia and the United States seen ahead of a meeting of Russia's President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND - JULY 16: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'KREMLIN PRESS OFFICE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) (L-R) US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and his wife Jenni Haukio pose for a photo during their meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Kremlin Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and First lady Melania Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin give a joint news conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin react at the end of the joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and First lady Melania Trump pose for a picture with a football during a meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HELSINKI, FINLAND JULY 16, 2018: US First Lady Melania Trump, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and US President Donald Trump (L-R) after a news conference at the Presidential Palace. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump holds a football thrown to her by U.S. President Donald Trump during his joint news conference with Russia's President Vladimir Putin after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

He cited Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denials of such interference during their meeting. And he seemed to endorse a plan Putin proposed that would allow special counsel Robert Mueller's team to work with Russian investigators to question 12 indicted Russians.

Some Republicans responded to Trump's remarks within moments of the press conference ending.

  • Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska issued a statement calling Trump's comment that both countries are responsible for the state of US-Russia relations "bizarre and flat-out wrong."
  • "The United States is not to blame," Sasse said. "America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression. When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs."
  • Republican Rep. Justin Amash tweeted of the press conference that someone can be in favor of improved relations with Russia and with Trump meeting Putin "and still think something is not right here."
  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a golfing partner of the president, called the event a "missed opportunity" for Trump "to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections."
  • He later added that he would advise Trump to "check the soccer ball" Putin gave him at the press conference "for listening devices and never allow it in the White House."
  • Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has frequently sparred with the president, tweeted that the remarks were "shameful."
  • "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," he wrote. "This is shameful."
  • Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a close Trump ally, said in a statement that "Russia interfered in the 2016 election."
  • "Our nation’s top intelligence agencies all agree on that point," he said. "From the President on down, we must do everything in our power to protect our democracy by securing future elections from foreign influence and interference, regardless of what Vladimir Putin or any other Russian operative says."

Other Republicans called Trump's remarks "outrageous," "an absolute disgrace," and "moronic." A former chairman of the Republican National Committee even said Trump was acting like he was an "asset" next to his "handler."

NOW WATCH: North Korean defector: Kim Jong Un 'is a terrorist'

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Mueller found that the Russian hacker scheme was dependent on bitcoin, and it may have gotten them caught

Read Full Story