Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial of election interference “strong and powerful” in a joint press conference Monday, where Putin called the recent discoveries by the FBI into question.
The conference came just days after the DoJ charged 12 Russian officials with hacking into DNC computers during the 2016 presidential election.
Market Watch reports that the president accused the Russia Probe lead by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller of damaging ties between the U.S. and Russia.
“My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me, some others, they said they think it’s Russia,” Trump said according to Mercury News. “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
Trump said “we’re all to blame” for the undermining during the 2016 presidential election and called the Russia Probe “a disaster for our country.”
Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018
Top Republicans came out against Trump’s behavior at the press conference following the statements according to Fox 43, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I’ve said a number of times and I say it again, the Russians are not our friends and I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community,” McConnell said to reporters Monday.
Senator John McCain called Trump’s commentary “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
Former U.S. intelligence chiefs John Brennan, Chuck Hagel, James Clapper, and Michael Hayden came out and condemned Trump’s stance at the press conference, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
Brennan, the former director of the CIA, referred to Trump’s stance at the conference as “nothing short of treasonous.” He also said that his performance at the press conference “rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.'” His tweets suggested that Trump is “wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
The former director of National Intelligence under Obama, James Clapper, called situation Monday “unbelievable” and “disturbing.” He said that Trump appeared “essentially capitulated” and “intimidated” by Putin, and did so before the entire world.
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he believes that Trump “failed America today.”
Hagel continued with, “This was not a golf outing. This was not a real estate transactional kind of arrangement. Engagement must be connected to a strategic interest, a strategic purpose.”
He claimed that today is a “sad day” for both the United States and the world as a whole.