(WKEF/WRGT) - Ohio Governor John Kasich is speaking out on what he's calling President Trump's "misguided meeting" with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a statement released on Twitter, Kasich said the president appearing with Putin was not in America's best interest. "Simply put," Kasich said, "President Trump is wrong. Putin's words should never be given equal weight of our own Director of National Intelligence. Putin is a KGB operative trying to undermine the West and supporting other murderous dictators."
During a joint-press conference in Helsinki, Finland Monday, President Trump said he and Putin spent "a great deal of time" talking about allegations of Russian election meddling. The meeting came on the heels of 12 Russians being indicted, accusing of hacking into Democratic accounts ahead of the 2016 election. President Trump did not strongly condemn the efforts during Monday's press conference with Putin, "I have great confidence in my intelligence people," President Trump said, "but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today." He went on to say the investigation of possible Russian meddling in the election has been "a disaster for our country. There was no collusion at all."
Putin also spoke about what said was "so-called interference of Russia," saying it was "nonsense."
There has been backlash from both parties following Monday's joint-press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan saying there's "no question" that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and that "The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally." Senator John McCain, a fellow Republican and outspoken critic of President Trump tweeted that the press conference was "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory."
Governor Kasich also said now is the time for American leaders in both parties to "speak with one voice and let the world know we are not on the side of Russia."
Ahead of the joint-press conference, Ohio Congressman Mike Turner appeared on FOX45 in the Morning, saying President Trump should make it clear to Putin that Russia will be held accountable.