John McCain held nothing back in a statement made shortly after the Helsinski press conference.
The controversial meeting of President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin took an unexpected turn when Trump spoke out about the alleged Russian interference in the election.
During the conference, Trump claimed that he believed that Russia did nothing to interfere with the election because of Putin's denial.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people,” said Trump.
He also had very harsh words to say about how the FBI Russia probe was handled.
“I think that the probe is a disaster for our country,” Trump said. “I think it's kept us apart, it's kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. People are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know virtually none of it related to the campaign.”
Sen. John McCain just issued a statement saying, “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
Perhaps the most negative statement from a Republican elected official today. (So far.)
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/WpvmawCAoc
— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) July 16, 2018
The senator expressed his concerns with Trump aligning himself too closely with Putin, citing his many alleged crimes. Here's his full statement:
“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naivete, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.
“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.
“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout — as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.
“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisers makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.
“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are — a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”
Other politicians are also speaking out about President Trump's comments, but it is uncertain how this will affect international relations with Russia.