President Trump says both the United States and Russia are to blame for high tensions between the two countries. The president held a joint press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin after an historic summit in Helsinki, Finland.
Reaction to the press confernence on Capitol Hill was swift and mostly negative.
“The president’s comments made us look as a nation more like a pushover,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). “Everyone who’s dealt with Putin understands that the best way to deal with him is through strength.”
In a statement, Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson said, “the president stood on the world stage and actively damaged our democracy.”
Democratic Senator Doug Jones took to Twitter, asking the president, “why won’t you stand up for us?”
But other republicans on Capitol Hill were silent or more subtle in their criticism.
“I think the president had a missed opportunity to lay out the views of the united states as it related to meddling in elections,” said Congressman French Hill (R-AR).
But Hill said Congress and the president are taking strong action to confront Russian aggression with economic sanctions and increased military spending.
“You know, actions sometimes speak louder than words,” Hill said.
For his part, President Trump said his warm relationship with Putin is good for the United States, allowing the two nations to work together on things like ending violence in Syria, fighting terrorism and solving the North Korean nuclear problem.