GOP Intel chairman: Trump should recognize Putin lies
© Greg Nash

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrRick Scott caught in middle of opposing GOP factions Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Monday that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE must recognize that Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is a lie. 

"President Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the 2016 U.S. elections with the goal of undermining faith in our democratic process. Russia has conducted a coordinated cyberattack on state election systems and hacked critical infrastructure. They have used social media to sow chaos," Burr said in a statement. 
 
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He added that any statement that Putin makes that contradicts "these facts is a lie and should be recognized as one by the president." 
 
Burr's comments come after Trump sparked intense backlash by refusing to denounce Russia's interference in the 2016 election during a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki.
 
“He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump told reporters, echoing Putin's denials. “I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
 
Trump, adding that Putin gave an "extremely strong" denial, instead used the press conference to complain that election meddling allegations have created doubts about the legitimacy of his win over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series White House defends Biden's 'Neanderthal thinking' remark on masks MORE
 
The Senate Intelligence Committee released an assessment earlier this month that upheld the conclusion of the intelligence community that Russia developed a "clear preference" for then-candidate Trump in the 2016 election and sought to help him win the White House.
 
Lawmakers have been wary for years of Trump's warmer rhetoric toward Putin. Democrats, as well as GOP lawmakers, said they did not believe that Trump should meet with the Russian president. 
 
Burr added on Monday that Putin "is not our friend and never has been." 
 
"Nor does he want to be our friend. His regime’s actions prove it. We must make clear that the United States will not tolerate hostile Russian activities against us or our allies," he said.