Trump sides with Russian Federation against Federal Bureau of Investigation at Helsinki summit

But the U.S. leader insisted that his counterpart had delivered a "powerful" denial of any Russian manipulation, and that the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller was proving a "disaster" for the United States. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But his failure to publicly hold the Russian accountable for his aggressive behavior - on numerous fronts - will only embolden him and fuel more tension down the road.

Mr Putin said of the collusion claims that there is "no evidence when it comes to the actual facts".

US President Donald Trump has arrived home from his one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki to a wave of criticism that has crossed party lines. "We have not been getting along well for the last number of years", Trump added.

Trump, now pinned to the facts about Russian Federation (not about Americans involved), was asked to explain his position on that indictment and whether he believes the information from his intelligence agencies (or the House Intelligence Community, for that matter) or Putin's denial.

Although the summit was described by Trump as "a very constructive day" and by Putin as "first important step", questions from reporters about the alleged meddling with USA elections by Russian Federation still highlighted the post-summit press conference. "The damage inflicted by President Trump's naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate", McCain said in a blistering statement.

Putin, who was recently reelected to a third six-year term in what critics described as a "sham election", responded to Wallace by likening these suspicious deaths to the assassinations of United States presidents and civil rights leaders.

"Interference with the domestic affairs of the United States - do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?"

"We don't have anything on them, and there can't be anything on them", Putin said.

We are past the point where Trump's conduct can be ascribed to his belief that it is imperative to improve US-Russia relations. He said Trump's refusal to condemn Russian interference in the 2016 election makes the US 'look like a pushover'.

Steven Pifer, a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and a former State Department official focused on US relations with the former Soviet Union, spoke with Reuters editor Helen Coster about the summit.

"Our relationship has never been worse than it is now, however that changed as of about four hours ago".

Putin said the two countries would need to work together to cope with challenges such as terrorism, global crime, the economy and the environment, while pointing to counterterrorism and cybersecurity as areas in which they are already doing so. Washington and Moscow back different sides in the eight-year-old civil war.

Trump insists Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome in 2016 and he is not going to allow media obsession with Russiagate to interfere with establishing better relations.

Liina Isto
Liina Isto deputy chair of Finns Party Youth Wing. Image Yle Zena Iovino

Despite Trump's assertion that Putin has offered a hand, Mueller's office has suggested that the Kremlin has been less than forthcoming in another criminal case brought against Russian individuals.

The summit comes days after the USA indictment of 12 alleged Russian military intelligence agents for sophisticated hacking in the 2016 election.

Yet Trump appeared to take Putin's word in dismissing that conclusion.

He said US-Russian relations should not be "held hostage" to an internal political struggle in America.

For his part, Trump criticised the ongoing U.S. investigation into the allegations as a "disaster".

Both leaders also said they would work together to help resolve the Syrian crisis. The White House correspondent for the Associated Press became the hero we all needed when he boldly went where Mr Trump would not.

On the question of nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, Mr Putin praised the USA leader over efforts to resolve difficulties with North Korea.

Fox Business Channel's Neil Cavuto said he'll give Trump the benefit of the doubt that maybe he was suffering from jet lag or other problems related to the time difference in Helsinki.

"Russia interfered in the 2016 election".

He said that when he referred to Mr Putin as a competitor, he meant it as a compliment.

After a week overseas, Mr Trump on Monday delivered the coup de grace for what has been a highly disruptive week in USA foreign affairs. "We are the two great nuclear powers".

Just minutes before the press conference, a man holding a sign had a scuffle with security personnel and was escorted out of the room.

  • Leroy Wright