Fallout after Trump-Putin meeting
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:
President Trump just departed Helsinki, Finland, after his one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He is now headed to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
A US official says the translator in President Trump's one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin will likely be debriefed, at least informally, by other US officials about some of what took place in the meeting.
The official said this was not unusual practice for one-on-one meetings, but after Trump's performance at the press conference the contents of that session are gaining greater scrutiny.
The translator's main focus in the meeting is to translate the leaders' words, not to take notes for posterity, so her accounting of the meeting is not considered an official record.
About the translator: Marina Gross has previously translated for the State Department and other government entities. She accompanied first lady Laura Bush to Sochi, Russia, in 2008.