Reps. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelAl Green says impeachment is 'only solution' to Trump's rhetoric Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (D-N.Y.) and Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzEpstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse NYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Epstein charges put Trump Labor secretary back in spotlight MORE (D-Fla.), who are outspoken critics of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for his anti-Semitic rhetoric, dismissed criticisms that President Obama acted too friendly with Chavez last weekend.

In an interview with The Hill on Tuesday, Engel -- who was on a CODEL at the Summit of the Americas where Obama and Chavez amicably shook hands -- said, "Chavez ran over to Obama and shook his hand. And I think there was no other thing that he could do but shake the hand. That is what you do if someone puts out their hand."

Likewise, Wasserman Schultz said, "A handshake does not transform Chavez into a great guy. It just was a handshake."

Engel and Wasserman Schultz have been longtime opponents of Chavez.

As recently as two months ago, Wasserman Schultz criticized Chavez on the House floor for failing to respond forcefully to an attack on a Jewish synagogue in Caracas.

Some Republicans have lambasted Obama for his interaction with Chavez. The president last weekend dismissed criticisms about the exchange.

--Michael Gleeson