Ryan defends Mueller probe after Trump's summit with Putin

'An absolute disgrace': Republicans blast Trump for his 'disgusting' press conference with Putin

"I will say this - I don't see any reason why it would be", Mr Trump said.

Yet, despite vague vows of better ties to come and new cooperation in Syria and on nuclear nonproliferation, neither Trump nor Putin was able to offer details of progress or specific improvements in relations as they spoke to reporters at a news conference in Helsinki after their long-awaited summit.

"Let's be very clear, just so everybody knows: Russian Federation did meddle with our elections", said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

His comment came - amid rising rebuke by his own party - about 27 hours after his original, widely reported statement, which he made at a Monday summit in Helsinki standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin. "2016 was a testing ground and they will try in the future the outcome of any number of elections around the world which they see as crucial for their national interest", Tchantouridze said.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people", he added, "but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today". "I don't see any reason why it would be".

Now, his aides are wondering how he'll respond to anger from even his staunchest supporters after he sided with Putin over USA intelligence agencies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant", said McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The best question for comedy but the worst for integrity was the reporter who asked Putin if Russian Federation had compromising material on Trump. The tabloid New York Post front-page headline said, "See No Evil: Prez gives big Bear hug to wicked BFF Vlad, jabs USA intel". Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, have defended Mr. Trump.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who has bristled with Trump, said he "did not think this was a good moment for our country".




"Is it possible Vladimir Putin brought a hypnotist to that meeting instead of a translator?"

"NATO's never been stronger".

Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell drew a line in the sand, saying, "I've said a number of times and I say it again, the Russians are not our friends and I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community". A wary and robust stance toward Russian Federation has been a bedrock of his party's world view. "This is truly the Trump derangement syndrome that motivates all of this".

He also said FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former FBI director James Comey and former deputy director Andrew McCabe, all targets of Republican fire over the Russian Federation investigation, were "bad people, and they're being exposed for what they are". "And I think a lot of American, both Democrats and Republicans", saw it similarly.

He added, "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics".

The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russian Federation, making it highly doubtful the Kremlin would ever voluntarily send over the defendants to be prosecuted in an American court.

Trump drew swift, bipartisan backlash on Monday after he refuted his own intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election, saying while standing next to Putin that he doesn't "see any reason" why Russian Federation would have been behind the hacking.

Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel ripped into what was undoubtably the "strangest of all 542 freaky days of Donald Trump's reign of error" on Monday night. There was no indication, however, that any of Trump's key aides planned to quit.

While long-time Trump supporter Newt Gingrich, a former Republican Speaker of the House, called it Mr Trump's "most serious mistake". "He's got to reverse course immediately".

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