Flake to introduce resolution countering Trump's Russia summit rhetoric
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMnuchin pulls out of Saudi conference The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference MORE (Ariz.) said Monday that he is working on a resolution to counter President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE’s controversial comments made during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which Trump backed Moscow's assertion that it did not interfere in the 2016 election.

“I think we should pass a resolution on the heels of all this,” Flake told reporters.
 
The resolution, which Flake said he was drafting, would reaffirm support for the FBI and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE and say Congress does not question Friday's indictment of 12 Russians for election meddling.
 
It would also, according to Flake, “hold Russia to account” and say the United States stands with its European allies.
 
"For Congress, the Senate, not to reaffirm our support and that to let people know that we don't question the intelligence, we're there," he added. 
 
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Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring after this Congress, indicated he could introduce the resolution as soon as Monday. 

 
Trump's comments during his press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, shocked Washington. 
 
In addition to refusing to disavow Putin over Russia's election meddling, Trump noted Putin strongly denied interfering in the 2016 election and said the United States was partly to blame for the U.S.-Moscow relationship. 
 
"It was disbelief, really. It was disbelief. I couldn't believe that a president would put as much faith, or more faith, in the words of a dictator ... over our own intelligence services," Flake added, asked about his reaction to Trump's rhetoric. 
 
But it's unclear if the Senate would be willing to pass a resolution formally pushing back on Trump. Flake noted he had not talked to GOP leadership about his proposal. 
 
And while several GOP senators sought rhetorical distance from Trump — issuing statements criticizing him for refusing to hold Putin accountable — few of them have suggested triggering a fight with the president through a resolution or legislation. 
 
While Republicans have previously broken with Trump's rhetoric, including on Russia or tariffs, leadership has shown little inclination to bring a bill to the floor months before a midterm election if it doesn't have the White House's support. 
 
 
"We'll think of ways to reinforce. They know, I think, how Congress feels in general but the president can do more damage in 15 minutes to that relationship than all of us working together for months can overcome," Corker, the retiring chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.