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

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrJohn Ratcliffe back under consideration by Trump for top intel job The Hill's Morning Report - Can Sanders be stopped? Trump creates new headaches for GOP with top intelligence pick MORE (R-N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far 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.”
 
 
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.