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McConnell: Russians are not our friends

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTim Scott to deliver GOP response to Biden's speech to Congress GOP state attorneys general urge Biden, Congress not to expand Supreme Court The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday said that Russia is not a friend of the U.S. and that he supports the intelligence community’s finding that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.

“I have said a number of times, I’ll say it again: The Russians are not our friends. And I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community,” McConnell told reporters.

McConnell’s comments come hours after President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE sparked immediate backlash following a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he refused to condemn Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. 

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“He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump told reporters, echoing Putin's denials. “I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

He also said the United States was partly to blame for the current low point in U.S.-Moscow relations.

McConnell, who routinely does not speak to reporters in hallways around the Capitol, did not respond to questions about if he would repeat his comments to the president, if he was disappointed in Trump’s comments or if he thought, as some have suggested, that Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsExperts see 'unprecedented' increase in hackers targeting electric grid Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Lack of cyber funds in Biden infrastructure plan raises eyebrows MORE should resign.

Several GOP senators have publicly pushed back against Trump’s rhetoric.

"President Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the 2016 U.S. elections with the goal of undermining faith in our democratic process. Russia has conducted a coordinated cyberattack on state election systems, and hacked critical infrastructure. They have used social media to sow chaos," Burr said in a statement. 

He added that any statement that Putin makes that contradicts "these facts is a lie and should be recognized as one by the President."

The Senate's No. 2 Republican also said he believed U.S. intelligence officials.

"I don't believe Mr. Putin and I believe our intelligence officials who produced the intelligence community assessment and I believe the indictment that Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE has now presented is well taken," said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn, Sinema unveil bill aimed at confronting border surge US Chamber of Commerce comes out in support of bipartisan, bicameral immigration bill GOP sees immigration as path to regain power MORE (R-Texas). 

"I think members of Congress believe as I do that Russia did attempt to meddle in the election. That they were unsuccessful in changing the outcome. ... I think [the president] is conflating two different things: The meddling and the collusion allegations, for which there does not appear to be any evidence."

Cornyn added that he thought the 12 Russians indicted last week by special counsel Robert Mueller should be extradited to the U.S., but acknowledged that would be “wishful thinking.”

Updated at 4:18 p.m.