Several Missouri Congressional members in Washington offered reaction to President Trump’s press conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin yesterday.

The reactions differed based on party affiliation.  Democrats called out President Trump by name for harsh criticism while Republicans focused on the Russian President.

During the event, the American leader questioned the findings of his own intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election while standing alongside Putin.

The remarks came three days after 12 Russians were indicted by the U.S Justice Department under accusations of just such meddling.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said President Trump’s comments, “fly in the face of the consensus of the Intelligence Community, the Director of National Intelligence, the Special Counsel, and a bipartisan investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee.”

McCaskill, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sought common ground with GOP colleagues critical of President Trump’s stance.

“I stand with my Republican colleagues who are calling out this unprecedented rebuke of our intelligence officers—most of whom are veterans of the United States military,” said McCaskill.  “Today’s actions will only embolden the enemies of our country and erode the support of our allies.”

Her Missouri counterpart, Republican Senator Roy Blunt issued a statement to Missourinet, proclaiming “there’s no doubt Russia interfered with our elections.”  Blunt indirectly distanced himself from President Trump by stressing that Putin is “not an ally of the United States” and called him a “calculating adversary”.

He offered support for efforts to fend off Russian meddling around the world.  “We must make clear that we will not tolerate Russian aggression against the United States or our allies,” said Blunt.

Eastern Missouri Republican Representative Ann Wagner seemed to praise Trump’s intentions without mentioning his name in a tweet but said she supported sanctions against Russia for meddling in American elections.

Western Missouri Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver issued numerous tweets criticizing the President’s statements, including one saying, “saddest thing about the Trump Putin Summit in Helsinki is that the knife in our nation’s back didn’t come from Putin.”

Cleaver also expressed disbelief over President Trump’s warm treatment of Putin.

Southwest Missouri Republican Representative Billy Long said he missed the Trump-Putin news conference but said Putin was given soft treatment without mentioning Trump’s name. He also expressed support for continuing investigations into Russian interference.

“I was not able to watch the news conference, but from what I’ve read it seems like a missed opportunity to hold President Putin accountable as the world watched,” said Long. “I have said all along that Robert Mueller needs to be allowed to finish his work concerning Russia’s meddling in our election. The facts should be allowed to come out unimpeded. In the meantime, we need to keep the sanctions in place and keep maximum pressure on Russia.”

Representative Long distinguished himself as an early and unwavering supporter of President Trump during the 2016 campaign, even after Trump made controversial comments thought to be fatal blows to his run for office at the time.

The reluctance to mention President Trump while simultaneously directing criticism toward his remarks at the Helsinki press conference could reflect an acknowledgement on the part of Missouri Congressional Republicans that he won the state by 19 points in 2016.

Although Republicans in Congress were largely critical of Trump’s comments during his press conference with the Russian leader, no GOP member proposed any action to sanction the President or increase oversight of his office.

Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV contributed to this report