Donald Trump returned late Monday from his European tour to face ire in Washington, where United States intelligence officials and senior Republicans were denouncing the president as "shameful" and "disgraceful" after he refused to challenge Russian leader Vladimir Putin over interference in American elections.
Hours after his appearance with the U.S. president, Putin repeated his longstanding denial that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election in a bid to boost Trump's candidacy in an interview with the Fox News host Chris Wallace.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied possessing compromising information about President Trump and insisted Russia had no part in meddling in the 2016 USA election during a contentious interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace following a meeting between the two world leaders in Helsinki, Finland.
"Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community", Sanders wrote on Twitter as the White House lauded the Finland summit as "constructive".
Trump on his intelligence officials: "They said they think it's Russian Federation".
"Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors, '" Brennan tweeted. But Trump did not strongly condemn the interference efforts, which USA intelligence agencies insist did occur, including hacking of Democratic emails, the subject of last week's indictment of 12 Russians.
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Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called it "bizarre", Sen. [Putin] just said it's not Russian Federation. John McCain's rebuke of Trump, comments criticizing Congressional Republicans, or otherwise, there is a clear theme here.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, center, gives a soccer ball to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as Russian President Vladimir Putin, stands at right, during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, July 15, 2018.
"There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals". Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. "This is shameful".
The Wisconsin Republican says the American intelligence community and the House Intelligence Committee agree that Russian Federation interfered in the election.
"We don't have anything on them, and there can't be anything on them", he said. But, he tweeted, "I never would have thought that the US President would become one of the ones getting played by old KGB hands".
Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the worldwide stage with a man he has described as an important US competitor - but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader.
Casey, D-Scranton, said that Trump attacked and diminished law enforcement and intelligence agencies during the news conference and did so on foreign soil and in front of a "hostile dictator".
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"That will go to my son Barron, we have no question".
And a former Central Intelligence Agency director says it's treasonous.
"It was nothing short of treasonous".
"There's no question that Putin interfered in the elections", Corker told reporters in Washington.
Mr Putin described the Helsinki meeting as "candid and useful" while Mr Trump said there had been "deeply productive dialogue". "I'm horrified - and have never been more proud of the fact that Putin hates my father so much he personally sanctioned him on Russia's enemies list".
Putin didn't want to see it, Wallace said.
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