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Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 2:00 PM
— Response to President Donald Trump’s comment at the Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin that he doubted Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was swift and pointed Monday.
Reaction ranged from CNN anchor Anderson Cooper calling the president’s performance “disgraceful” to retiring Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (California) defending the president’s comments.
Trump and Putin “spent a great deal of time” discussing allegations of Russian election meddling as they met for several hours Monday, the U.S. president said.
Trump resisted when asked Monday to condemn Russian meddling in the election, instead complaining about a Democratic National Committee computer server and Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.
“They said they think it’s Russia; I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said.
“I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that was responsible for the election hacking. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Here are some of the comments made just after the summit ended.
Dan Coats statement:— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) July 16, 2018
"We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy..." pic.twitter.com/bgvCgWnMlB
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Anderson Cooper calls the Trump-Putin press conference "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader certainly that I've ever seen" https://t.co/M0guPGHxMt pic.twitter.com/8s7I3iP4pp— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 16, 2018
Russia interfered in our elections and they will do it again unless we stand up to Putin. It’s insane that the President of the United States is attacking the FBI and believes Putin over his own intelligence officials and evidence presented by both the House and the Senate. Wow.— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) 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
For the entire eight years Obama was in the White House, the sycophant media heralded his imaginary diplomatic prowess. Now that a real president is engaging in true diplomacy with a nuclear superpower, they all condemn the effort. Unsurprising hypocrisy. https://t.co/BTXkUgYyDo— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 16, 2018
Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018
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)
This entire trip has just been one giant middle finger from President Trump to his own country. Just jaw dropping. https://t.co/pH2GzgpALJ— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) July 16, 2018
from @realDonaldTrump and I couldn’t agree more: “...open new pathways to peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, then to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 16, 2018
I want President Trump’s diplomatic efforts to be successful, but I’ll take the word of a Hoosier over Vladimir Putin any day. We must take seriously the warnings of Director Coats and the American intelligence community. Russia is not our friend.— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) July 16, 2018