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

Republican Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseNYT's Stephens says Ted Cruz more 'unctuous' than Eddie Haskell GOP worries fiscal conservatism losing its rallying cry Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube execs to testify at Senate hearing on algorithms | Five big players to watch in Big Tech's antitrust fight MORE (Neb.) on Monday blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Ivanka Trump doubles down on vaccine push with post celebrating second shot Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney 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 ClintonPelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights Hillary Clinton: Biden less 'constrained' than Clinton and Obama due to prior administration Biden's unavoidable foreign policy crisis 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.