Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

Putin and Trump shake hands in Helsinki

Putin and Trump shake hands in Helsinki

After a contentious few minutes on the topic of election meddling, Wallace said Putin stated that whoever hacked the Democratic National Committee servers obtained real and true information.

After arriving at Helsinki Airport, Mr Putin was taken to the Presidential Palace in a shiny new Russian-made limousine.

He replied: "I hold both countries responsible. I think the United States has been foolish. Standing alongside his benefactor, Trump denounced the special counsel investigating the Russian intervention in the US election - and even repudiated his own intelligence appointees".

"We need our Republican colleagues to stand up for the good of this country", he said.

While many USA officials are blasting Trump's performance, Trudeau wouldn't comment, and instead repeated his condemnation of Putin and Russian Federation.

He challenged Republicans to move beyond words and to confront the President directly by increasing sanctions on Russian Federation and requesting testimony about the summit from Trump administration officials, among other things.

Arnold Schwarzenegger - a regular critic of President Trump - was more direct still, recording a video of himself comparing Mr Trump's performance to American leaders of the past.

At one point, Kilmeade offered his criticism directly to Trump on the assumption that he was watching.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger

"American intelligence agencies have confirmed, unequivocally, that Russian actors, nearly certainly at the direction of the Russian government and Vladimir Putin, meddled in our 2016 presidential election", Toomey said.

Asked directly if he believed Putin or his own intelligence community, which concluded that the Russians were behind the hacking and other interference, the president did not directly answer.

CBS News: "Washington reacts to Trump-Putin press conference with dismay" - "Republicans and Democrats alike are dismayed by President Trump's comments at his joint press conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday. The United States must stand from a position of strength in our relationship with Russian Federation and in defense of our allies and shared values", Risch replied via email to several questions from the Statesman about Trump's and Putin's remarks.

The Trump-Putin summit, said Colbert, "was so weird, so disturbing it's really upset people across the partisan divide in ways I have not seen in years".

The U.S. leader would not publicly criticize Putin for the Russian annexation of Crimea, chemical attacks on individuals in the United Kingdom, or condemn him for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Even the USA, which guarantees freedom of press under the First Amendment, was only ranked 45th in the index, down two spots from previous year.

Lawmakers could back bipartisan bills that have already been filed to protect the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller - a probe that only last week gave the most detailed description of Russian election interference efforts to date in an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials.

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally". The damage inflicted by President Trump's naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate.

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