CNN host: 'Dozens' of Republican lawmakers refused request to talk about Trump cowering before Putin
Jim Sciutto (CNN/screen grab)

CNN host Jim Sciutto revealed on Tuesday that "dozens" of Republican lawmakers had refused requests to discuss President Donald Trump's highly criticized meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At the start of an interview with Republican Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), Sciutto set the scene by noting that almost all Republican lawmakers contacted by the network had turned down the opportunity for an interview.

"So our viewers know, we reached out to dozens of Republican lawmakers today to speak, to react to the president's comments. I want to thank you for being the only one who said yes," the CNN host said before asking Costello for his reaction to the summit.

"Well, I was embarrassed," Costello lamented. "I think that I was outraged because I think that in all my years of having a tremendous respect for the institution of the presidency and its role around our globe, I'd never seen a more pathetic and weak display of American leadership as a president."

"And it's not explainable," the Republican congressman added. "It's not defensible. And it's something we should view, I think, with outrage and ask serious questions as to why our president would somehow cast doubt or create some equivalency between Vladimir Putin's denial and the very substantive investigative powers of our law enforcement and intelligence communities, which made a determination and issued an indictment that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election."

Watch the video below from CNN.