President Donald Trump's appearance with Russia's Vladimir Putin prompted swift reactions on Capitol Hill, even from the group of Republican lawmakers who had traveled to Moscow to smooth things over beforehand.
The delegation of seven senators and one representative — as well as U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, who reportedly invited them — met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Kremlin officials in early July to discuss mending the two countries' frayed relations.
The lawmakers said they repeatedly challenged Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But Trump himself refused to side with the conclusions of his own administration's intelligence community during a joint press conference with Putin on Monday.
In the latest political fallout from the president's performance, the same Republicans who spent their Fourth of July in Russia to help Trump issued responses distancing themselves from the president's remarks.
At least one criticized Trump directly. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas said Trump "missed an opportunity to publicly condemn Russia for election interference or offer strong support for the NATO alliance."
"The problem with our relationship is not American actions but rather Russia’s duplicitous behavior. Putin is not our friend; he’s an adversary intent on continuing Russia’s disruptive activities, including meddling in our own democratic process," Moran said.
"In my view, this summit and my meetings with Russian officials in Moscow did nothing to suggest we should roll back sanctions and reaffirmed that Congress must continue to hold Russia accountable," he added.