Although President Donald Trump hastily tried to explain his comments at the Helsinki summit, where he undermined his intelligence community by siding with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, it was not before he reportedly lost the trust of his own Chief of Staff John Kelly.

According to a report by Vanity Fair, Kelly was furious following Trump’s performance in the summit and exerted pressure on the president to take back his statements. Kelly was concerned that Trump’s comments would only fuel special counsel Robert Mueller’s wrath.

To back the president into a corner, Kelly reportedly invited the Republicans on Capitol Hill and told them to feel free to speak out against Trump.

And speak out, they did. On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said: “Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump's naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake."

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world,” McCain added.

“There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world,” House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also joined the tirade of criticisms against the president from members of his own party, CBS News reported. In a press conference Tuesday, he said: “To our European friends, we value the NATO treaty the most significant military alliance in world history. We believe the European Union countries are our friends, the Russians are not.”

“This was the nightmare scenario,” an unnamed Republican told Vanity Fair. The White House has neither confirmed nor denied the publication’s report.

Facing growing backlash from his own party, the president held a meeting at the White House Tuesday, attended by members of Congress and the media, where he attempted to backtrack his comments.

The biggest controversy during the summit spurned from one particular comment that Trump made. After Putin had denied meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, Trump simply said: “I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia].”

In clarifying that statement, the president told reporters Tuesday that he had misspoken during the Helsinki press conference and actually meant to say “wouldn’t” and not “would.”

“I would like to clarify, in a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’” he said, blaming the entire controversy on the “double negative.” “The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’”