GOP senator slams Trump's Russia remarks as 'bizarre and flat-out wrong'

Republican 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.) on Monday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE’s remarks at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “bizarre” and giving Russia a “propaganda win.”

Sasse issued a statement minutes after the conclusion of Trump’s 45-minute press conference with Putin, during which Trump reiterated his claim that the United States shares responsibility for the country's bad relationship with Russia. He also refused to denounce Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.


“This is bizarre and flat-out wrong," Sasse said in his statement.

The GOP senator also responded to a tweet from Trump earlier in the day that blamed “U.S. foolishness” for sour relations between the two countries.

"The United States is not to blame," Sasse said. “America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression.”

“When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs,” he added.

Trump was careful not to criticize Putin or Russia during the press conference in Helsinki.

When asked if he believed U.S. intelligence findings that Russia tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and whether he would denounce such interference, Trump shifted the conversation to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea MORE, his Democratic opponent.

“What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? Thirty-three thousand emails gone, just gone,” he said. “I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails."

He also emphasized the need to examine a Democratic National Committee (DNC) server that was hacked during the 2016 campaign.

“Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying,” Trump said.

The president said he found Putin’s denial of Russian interference credible.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said.