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

GOP Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseMcConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal Senate approves 4B spending bill Grassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt MORE (Neb.) blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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.