GOP senator: Senate should be 'disgusted' by Helsinki summit
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Push for cosponsors for new 'Medicare for all' bill | Court lets Dems defend ObamaCare | Flu season not as severe as last year, CDC says Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears MORE (Neb.) blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE's handling of a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Monday that every senator should be "disgusted" by the Finland summit. 

"The problem that needed to be named today was Vladimir Putin. Instead, our president decided to advance a fake moral equivalency that plays right into ... Vladimir Putin's bloody hands. Everyone in this body should be disgusted by what happened in Helsinki," Sasse said from the Senate floor. 
 
He added that Monday "was a terrible day for the American brand, for the American people and our allies."
 
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Trump roiled Washington on Monday after he refused to denounce Russia's meddling in the 2016 election — noting Putin strongly denied interfering — and said the United States was partly to blame for the current low point in U.S.-Moscow relations. 
 
His rhetoric sparked immediate backlash from former intelligence officials, as well as both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill who quickly stood behind the intelligence community's report that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
 
 
Sasse, who earlier called Trump's rhetoric "bizarre," said, in addition to backing away from "principled American leadership," Trump had "walked away from basic reality." 
 
"Vladimir Putin is trying to create mistrust in this country. And today the president of the United States decided to let Vladimir Putin off the hook and in so doing he creates an incentive for Putin to ratchet up his campaigns of misinformation," he said.