The statement from President Donald Trump backing Vladimir Putin's denial of election meddling has earned him a few more critics as he heads back home. Some of the more vocal ones happen to be the more powerful Republicans in Congress, as well.
Lawmakers from both sides of the floor have joined current and former intelligence officials in a shared outrage at the way Trump has seemingly covered for Russian President Vladimir Putin right after their summit in Helsinki.
Trump has come out of a meeting with Putin, saying that he heard the Russian president issue a "strong, impressive denial" of an alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential elections, according to the Independent.
It was a statement that was roundly criticized by House Speaker Paul Ryan in a recent statement. "There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world," Ryan said, adding that the findings that indicted 12 Russians were the findings not just of the U.S. intelligence community, but also by the House Committee on Intelligence.
"The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally," the top Republican emphasized.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also supported the U.S. intelligence community in a recent statement, backing up their distrust of the Russians especially when it comes to the ongoing investigation as to their involvement in the 2016 presidential race.
"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," the Republican from Kentucky said, as quoted by CNN.
Meanwhile, Trump has focused on "a productive dialogue" between the U.S. and Russia, as he tweeted on Sunday, July 15. "A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world," he posted from a section of the joint press conference in Helsinki.