Fallout after Trump-Putin meeting
Dan Coats, director of National intelligence, said the US intelligence community has "been clear" in its assessments of Russian interference the in the 2016 election, describing their actions as "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy."
"We will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security," Coats said in a statement.
Here's the full statement:
A senior intel official said Coats made the decision to issue the statement after internal discussions this morning. The official said Coats and his team were presented with “a choice” after they received Trump’s comments and chose to move forward with a public statement in Coats’ name backing the intel assessment.
The official said the statement was not cleared with the White House.
Vice President Pence is speaking at the Commerce Department today and mentioned President Trump's meeting with Putin at the top of his remarks.
Pence continued: "Disagreements between our countries were discussed at length, and what the world saw, and the American people saw, is that President Donald Trump will always put the prosperity and security of America first."
Since the meeting — in which Trump declined to side with US intelligence on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election — numerous Republicans and Democrats have criticized his performance.
In a blistering shot at President Trump, Republican Sen. John McCain called today’s news conference "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory."
He added that it was a “recent low point” in the history of the presidency, calling the summit “a tragic mistake."
Read his full statement:
Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, made it clear that he believes the intelligence community and special counsel Robert Mueller's indictments.
Cornyn says Trump seems concerned his election is being delegitimized by critics.
“I don’t think we should be taking a former KGB colonel’s word for what their intelligence apparatus is doing or not doing. I believe our intelligence community, and their assessment, and I think what special counsel Bob Mueller just indicted — the 12 GRU officials — is spot on. So I don’t know what the President is trying to use some sort of carrot-and-stick approach with Putin, but I believe the intelligence community.”
Asked why he thinks President Trump has trouble believing the intelligence community, is it because he thinks it undermines his election, here's what Cornyn said:
“I think there is some element of that. He takes it all very personally like this is an attempt by Hillary supporters to delegitimize his election. But everyone agrees it didn’t change the outcome, and, to me, I think that is a critical point.”
Outgoing South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, in a statement, said he's confident that US intelligence officials and others will explain to President Trump that "it is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing his electoral success."
Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, reiterated what several other Republican lawmakers said today: "Russia is not our friend."
Read Gowdy's full statement:
Republican Sen. Bob Corker said President Trump should have been more forceful with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I did not think this was a good moment for our country," Corker said.
He said he was disappointed by Trump's remarks, which he added made the US look like a "pushover."
Corker said he doesn't know why Trump is denying Russia's interference in the US election. Corker insisted that Russia attacked the US election.
"I just don't know what it is about the President that continues to deny that that occurred," he said.
Corker said Putin gained a “tremendous amount” today and was probably eating caviar on the plane home.
In a statement released after President Trump's news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Trump "must appreciate that Russia is not our ally."
"There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia," he said in a statement.
Here's Ryan's full statement: