SAN FRANCISCO, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Two U.S. senators from Alaska state Monday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's statement on Russia's role in 2016 presidential elections during his joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Twitter he did not agree with Trump on his remarks on the controversy over Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump said at the press conference after his summit with Putin that his Russian counterpart has denied Russia attempted to influence the U.S. presidential elections two years ago.
Trump's statement was an open challenge to the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies, which insisted that Moscow played a role of intervention in the general elections.
"As our intelligence agencies have informed us, Russia tried to interfere in our elections and the elections of our allies across the globe. We need to take measures to prevent this from happening again and to continue to hold Russia accountable," Sullivan said in a tweet.
Another senator from Alaska, Republican Lisa Murkowski, said she was "stunned" at Trump's failure to confront Putin about Russian interference in the elections.
"President Trump ultimately validated Putin at the expense of American intelligence by giving credence to Putin's claim," she tweeted.
It was a missed opportunity for Trump to not publicly state his support for the conclusions of American intelligence officials and demand Russia not interfere in any future elections, Murkowski said.
She accused Trump of not defending America, saying Trump's remarks represent "a sad diminishment of our great nation."
Trump held a meeting with Putin on Monday and seemed to accept Putin's denial of Russia's intention to interfere in the U.S. elections.