Trump, Putin content with summit despite lack of concrete results

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki Finland Monday

"The sad news is propaganda works", he added.

"He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people", Trump told reporters during a news conference in Helsinki following his joint summit with Putin.

Putin arrived to the meeting 35 minutes late.

"What we did hear was this kind of moral equivalence when it comes to meddling", Baier said, adding Trump standing in a foreign country next to a leader who "clearly attacked the US" and saying such things is going to "ruffle a lot of feathers".

Trump often appears more comfortable in their company, and with their style of politics, than with the leaders of liberal democracies.

"For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak".

He then said his director of national intelligence, Dan Coates, "and some others" had told him "they think it is Russian Federation", while Putin denies it.

Making note of some of the political reaction to the news conference, Fox news anchor Bret Baier said Trump probably caused himself a lot of problems with his answers. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who rarely criticizes Trump, stressed there was "no question" that Russian Federation had interfered.

Putin then spoke more generally about the idea that he'd try to collect compromising material on "high-level" US businessmen visiting his country, such as the 500 businessmen Putin said visited St. Petersburg for an economic forum.

Putin said both countries considered it "necessary" to further work together on many issues, including extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the risky situation surrounding the development of elements of the global system of American missile defense, and the implementation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles as well as avoiding weapons being placed in space. "We both made some mistakes".

Relations between Russian Federation and the West were severely strained by Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014, which President Putin acknowledged in the news conference.




Back at the White House, Paul's comments drew a presidential tweet of gratitude.

"Our expectations are grounded in realism, but our hopes are grounded in America's desire for friendship, cooperation and peace", Trump said. Trump, who more than any other recent American president has made the press an enemy, and who has openly mused about curtailing freedom of the press to crack down on critics, seems to regard Putin as an equal.

Despite the 12 reason indictments, Trump deflected admissions of the Kremlin's involvement in the 2016 election, saying "I don't see any reason" to believe Russian Federation was connected to hacking of the DNC server. And John Brennan, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center under former president George W. Bush and Central Intelligence Agency director under former president Barack Obama, said it amounted to an impeachable act.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said that "there is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals".

Brennan reacted by accusing Trump of committing "high crimes and misdemeanors", the same words found in Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution laying out the grounds for impeachment.

Trump tweeted from Air Force One on Monday as he travelled back to the United States that he has "GREAT confidence" in his intelligence team but 'in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past'.

In the House, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi planned a vote Tuesday in support of the intelligence committee's findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

Lukyanov, though, said he believes that two issues of substance had come out of the summit.

Instead, Harden argued, Trump did exactly what Putin wanted. He was holding a sign that read "Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty".

Johnson says USA intelligence agencies have "documented evidence" of Russia's interference and called it "serious" and "unacceptable". "Again it's a question about his resilience".

A series of congressional hearings past year didn't do much to change opinions, HuffPost/YouGov polling found.

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