John Kerry calls Trump meeting with Putin 'disgraceful' and 'dangerous'

Former Secretary of State John Kerry called President Trump’s appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin a “disgraceful” moment of surrender that is “dangerous” for the United States.

In an interview that aired on “Face the Nation” Sunday, Kerry tore into Trump for siding with Putin over the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, and said he doesn’t buy Trump’s effort to walk back the comments.

“I found it to be one of the most disgraceful, remarkable moments of kowtowing to a foreign leader by an American president that anyone has ever witnessed,” said Kerry, the Secretary of State under President Obama.

“It wasn't just that it was a kind of surrender. It's that it is dangerous. The President stood there and did not defend our country. He stood there and did not defend the truth, he did not defend the facts,” Kerry said. “It's dangerous because it sends a message to President Putin and to the rest of the world that the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, really doesn't have a handle on what he's doing.”

RELATED: President Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin in Finland

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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
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At a press conference alongside Putin after the two leaders met in Helsinki last week, Trump declined to condemn the Russia leader for the 2016 election meddling effort, or to publicly back his own intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia was responsible. Instead, he said “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia.

A day later, after an intense backlash, Trump claimed he meant to say “wouldn’t” instead of “would.”

Kerry said the claim of a grammatical lapse was not credible.

“I don’t buy his walk back for one second,” he said.

Despite the bipartisan criticism of his performance in Helsinki, Trump has invited Putin to Washington for a second summit in the fall.

Also appearing on “Face the Nation,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that meeting should only take place if a new set of sanctions are imposed on Russia beforehand, warning that Putin has not been dissuaded from meddling again in the 2018 Congressional elections.

“If he does show up, we need to have new sanctions hanging over Putin's head,” he said. “Do not meet with this guy from a position of weakness. You need to do two things: You need to harden our electoral infrastructure. You need to be the leader of that movement and you need to work with Congress to come up with new sanctions because Putin's not getting the message.”

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