President Trump Calls Mueller Probe 'Disaster' While Standing Next to Putin
- Author: Leroy Wright Jul 17, 2018,
Jul 17, 2018, 18:54
The two leaders will hold a joint news conference after the meeting, where the men will ostensibly give details of what they spoke about.
The two leaders met in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Monday to talk about "everything from trade to military to missiles to China".
President Trump questioned Monday whether Russian Federation was behind the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails.
During the press conference after their one-on-one meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked if he had any "compromising material" on President Donald Trump, alluding to the infamous pee tape-and Putin did not outrightly deny it. The meeting was delayed about an hour as a result.
Putin again denied that Moscow ever interfered in the 2016 USA election and proposed an "expert council" to improve relations between the countries.
Furthermore, the president questioned the whereabouts of Hillary Clinton's personal email server, and of the former IT aide to congressional Democrats, Imran Awan.
Trump says during a joint news conference that his message was "best delivered in person".
Piggybacking off the Russian president's skepticism of US law enforcement, Trump called the FBI's investigation "a disaster" for the United States, breaking with National Intelligence director Dan Coates' concerns of Russian cyber-attacks. "President Trump missed opportunity to hold Putin publicly accountable".
The Russian foreign ministry "liked" his words and tweeted back: "We agree".
It was an extraordinary press conference closing out the Trump-Putin summit, in which the American president delivered what amounted to a warm embrace to the man who for years has been isolated by the US and Western allies for Russia's activities in Ukraine, Syria and beyond.
The summit caps a trip overseas during which Trump sternly criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for failing to spend enough on their militaries and embarrassed British Prime Minister Theresa May by saying she refused to take his advice about how to negotiate Britain's exit from the EU. The president says it's a "shame" there is a cloud over his administration. He called Russian Federation a "foe in certain respects".
"Very good start", Trump said in response to reporters as the leaders were joined by senior officials for further discussions.
Other high-profile Republicans also expressed dismay.
"We all have a lot of questions and hopefully, we will come up with answers most importantly. It really was a great meeting that we had and brought everybody together, and, I think, very worthwhile". "We are the two great nuclear powers", he said.
The US and Russian Federation control most of the world's nuclear weapons.
Trump faced renewed pressure to confront Putin over Russia's election interference following Friday's indictments. The detectives who flew to Moscow found themselves in a PR pantomime, with their efforts to get evidence thwarted by the state.
Yet Trump seemed both unlikely and unwilling to broach the topic in the sit-down with Putin, leaving election hacking off the list of topics he wants to speak to Putin about this morning.
In June op-ed he wrote for The Washington Post, Brennan called Trump a "snake-oil salesman" who has shown 'mean-spirited, malicious, and highly abnormal behavior'.
Putin said the world had "drastically changed" since the Cold War and called for "trust" on "mutual interest issues".
One possible outcome of the summit is renegotiation of a nuclear treaty that expires in 2021. Putin, however, slouched into his chair with his legs spread and his arms resting on the sides of the chair as he stared blankly at Trump and reporters. He said he would allow Mueller to observe interviews of the 12 agents if Russian authorities were allowed to interview Americans including Bill Browder, the Hermitage Capital chief executive who lobbied the US government to adopt a law punishing Russian officials accused of human-rights abuses.