Trump criticized for his backing of Putin at summit

Trump criticized for his backing of Putin at summit

Trump criticized for his backing of Putin at summit

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats distanced himself from his boss, issuing a statement saying the United States intelligence community's judgment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election was "clear". The only points of disagreement came when Putin gently chided Trump for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and when the Russian leader, not Trump himself, explained the USA position on Russia's annexation of Crimea.

President Donald Trump is dismissing suggestions that Russia has compromising intelligence about him after a news conference in which Trump declined to criticize President Vladimir Putin for Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Hours after the Helsinki summit, Trump tweeted: "I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people. However, I also recognise that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"

"Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections", Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Twitter.

House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in to say there's "no question" that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election and "no moral equivalence" between the USA and Russian Federation.

President Donald Trump has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin privately made an "incredible offer" to help American investigators in their prosecution of 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking crimes during the 2016 presidential election season.

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Bob Corker of Tennessee, who said of Trump's news conference: "I did not think this was a good moment for our country". The New York delegation was not alone in expressing disappointment with the news conference.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said never in the history of the country had an American president supported an adversary the way Mr Trump sided with Mr Putin.

A senior North Atlantic Treaty Organisation diplomatic source, who was in the meetings at last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, said the mood was grim in the wake of Trump's visit but there was also relief that he did not force a change in policy.

The war hero and former Republican presidential nominee, a frequent critic of the president, said Trump "failed to defend all that makes us who we are - a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and overseas".

"Most of all because he knows how to listen and hear what the electorate, the public, wants from him, and he is doing a good job on that", Putin said.

"Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections".

"Today's meeting is only the beginning of a longer process, but we have taken the first steps towards a brighter future", Trump said.

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"Yes I do. I hold both countries responsible. We've all been foolish", he said, before veering into a discussion about his election victory. "I will say this - I don't see any reason why it would be", Mr Trump said.

Trump and Putin go in for a handshake.

"To those saying we need the DNI to stay, I would respond with the question: Has his presence curbed the President? We're all to blame", Trump said.

He went on to warn that Russian Federation remains capable of launching an interference campaign on 2018 midterm elections similar to what occurred in 2016 "we are just one click on a keyboard away from a similar situation repeating itself", he said.

Trump told reporters he "spent a great deal of time" talking about the allegation with Putin, while Putin categorically denied any interference in the USA internal affairs.

TRUMP on a Democratic National Committee server: "You have groups that are wondering why the Federal Bureau of Investigation never took the server". Putin said. "This is utterly ridiculous". Trump spoke up on none of these things, thus giving Putin another win.

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On Capitol Hill, top Republican leaders said they were open to slapping fresh sanctions on Russian Federation , but they showed no sign of acting any time soon.

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