BUFFALO, N.Y. — Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray called three "emergency press conferences" Wednesday across New York's 27th district, taking President Donald Trump to task for apparently agreeing with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the foreign country did not interfere with the 2016 election.

"This is a crisis moment in America when you have the president of the United States saying that he sides with a foreign dictator over his own people, over our own law enforcement," McMurray said.

Trump walked back his statement Tuesday and later that day McMurray's opponent, incumbent Chris Collins, said he believed the president misspoke and agreed that other nations may have interfered as well.

"He has said he absolutely believes our intelligence community when they said they (Russia) meddled in the election and to say others were as well, I'm sure others were," Collins said.

But McMurray asked, if Collins believed it was a mistake, why didn't he say something earlier? He turned his attack to the congressman, noting that while other Republicans have criticized the Russian summit, Collins, the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Trump in 2016, continually defends Trump.

"What would it take for Congressman Collins to come out and say the president was wrong? Is there any limit? Is there any level?" McMurray asked.

Standing with the candidate at the press conferences were a handful of veterans and members of law enforcement. In Buffalo, the former special agent in charge of the regional field office, Bernie Tolbert, said Trump and Collins make the job of the intelligence community more difficult.

"As a person who's done this and knowing the hard work that goes into it, in fact some people risk their lives to gather the kind of information that we need to protect our national security, to me it's quite disturbing," he said.

McMurray said widespread opposition to Trump's comments in Helsinki have galvanized his supporters and reenergized his campaign.