Rep. Trey Gowdy On Helsinki Summit Fallout

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President Donald Trump's stunning news conference Monday next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which he failed to back the US intelligence community's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election over Putin's denial, is being widely panned by Democrats, former intelligence chiefs, and Republican critics like Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Today, there a few new voices in the pool of condemnations, most notably ones who typically supported Trump in the past like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Reps. Liz Cheney and Trey Gowdy.

Here's what they said:

House Speaker Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan contradicted several comments Trump made during his Helsinki news conference, most notably backing the US intelligence community assessment that Russia meddled with the US 2016 presidential election.

"There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world," said Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, in a statement. "That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence."

Ryan continued, "The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell spoke briefly with reporters Monday, giving his support to the US intelligence community. "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 Kentucky Republican said. (He did not answer a question on whether he would tell Trump that he disagreed with him.)

Rep. Trey Gowdy

Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who was among the Republicans leading last week's sharply partisan hearing of FBI agent Peter Strzok, made clear Monday he did not see Russia as a US ally. "I am confident former CIA Director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, DNI Dan Coats, Ambassador Nikki Haley, FBI Director Chris Wray, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others will be able to communicate to the President it is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing his electoral success," Gowdy said in a statement.

Rep. Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, tweeted:

Source : https://edition.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-putin-helsinki/h_40500a225df3ce482d7d70a5af6e061e

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