After President Trump made remarks at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Helsinki, the President has criticism from both sides of the aisle.
The latest comes from the President’s own party from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. It is unusual for Gingrich to criticize the President, as he has been a staunch supporter of Trump’s in the past, and supports Republican Party unity rather than infighting.
Gingrich tweeted on Monday: “President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected – immediately.”
President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) July 16, 2018
Gingrich is considered one of Trump’s biggest defenders and a strong long-term ally.
During the press conference, Trump disagreed with the findings of U.S. intelligence analyses and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s detailed indictment against 12 Russian officials accused of interfering in the 2016 Presidential election, which was announced last week.
“They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin — he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said.
He added that he doesn’t “see any reason why it would be” Russia.
Democrats and Republicans alike went after President Trump after the conference, accusing him of putting Putin ahead of the American people.
Trump also criticized the FBI when asked if U.S. intelligence agencies were more credible than Putin regarding the election-meddling allegations.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats maintained Mueller’s findings against the indicted Russians.
“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security,” Coats said, according to The Hill.
Critics said President Trump’s comments revealed his inability to stand up to Putin, or choosing the side of Russia over America.
President Trump tweeted in response to the criticisms: “As I said today and many times before, ‘I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.’ However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along! #HELSINKI2018”
As I said today and many times before, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.” However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along! #HELSINKI2018
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018
Sen. John McCain is another Republican who made a scathing statement against President Trump, calling the President’s joint press conference with Putin “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Trey Gowdy and Sen. Orrin Hatch are a few other Republicans who spoke out against President Trump and his seeming support of Russia.
President Trump maintains that the dialogue at the summit was beneficial for the world, and would pave the way for a brighter future. He also said he would rather pursue peace than politics.