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

GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (Ariz.) said Monday that he is working on a resolution to counter President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race 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 (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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. 
 
GOP Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (Tenn.) floated that Congress could pass a resolution but questioned if it would be able to counter the international unease sparked by Trump's rhetoric. 
 
"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.