Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele said President TrumpDonald John TrumpSyrian refugee's falafel shop offering free food to people impacted by government shutdown Top North Korean official to meet with Trump this week: report Trump signs law guaranteeing back pay for federal workers MORE sounded like an “asset” standing next to his “handler” during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

When asked whether he would condemn the Russian government for election meddling, Trump said: “I don't see any reason why it would be” Russia who hacked Democrats during the 2016 election.

“That's how a press conference sounds when an Asset stands next to his Handler,” Steele said in a tweet weighing in on the president’s remarks.


The former RNC chairman’s remarks came shortly after Trump in Helsinki downplayed the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and slammed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation.  

“The probe is a disaster for our country. I think it’s kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it,” Trump said just days after Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking Democratic servers during the 2016 campaign.

“It was a clean campaign,” Trump continued, describing the margin of his electoral victory. “I beat Hillary Clinton easily… We won that race and it’s a shame that there can be even a little bit of a cloud over it.”