Republicans blast Trump meeting with Putin as 'shameful' and 'sign of weakness'
WASHINGTON - A growing number of Republican lawmakers Monday criticized President Donald Trump's joint appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which Trump accepted Putin's denials of meddling in the U.S. election.
"The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said hours after a joint press conference between the two leaders. "There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals."
Several lawmakers focused on Trump’s remarks that both the U.S. and Russia were to blame for troubled relations between the two countries. Trump was responding to a question about whether Russia had any responsibility for that relationship.
“Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Our nation’s top intelligence agencies all agree on that point," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a statement. "I trust the good work of our intelligence and law enforcement personnel who have sworn to protect the United States of America from enemies foreign and domestic.”
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., agreed.
“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,” Flake posted on Twitter.
“This is shameful,” he added.