Trump’s failure at Putin summit will come back to haunt him

But key Republicans, Democrats and others in Washington appeared stunned that Trump refused to publicly condemn Russian interference in the 2016 election or warn against future meddling during the joint press conference with Putin in Finland.

NBC's Chuck Todd tweeted, "The president tries to pull a "both sides" on the Putin v U.S. intel and ends up essentially confessing to the world that he believes Putin more the the United States of America and its agencies".

Trump did have one prominent defender: Senator Rand Paul, who vied with Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

The US and Russian presidents held almost two hours of closed-door talks in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Monday.

Media captionThe moment President Trump meets counterpart Vladimir Putin.

"For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defence officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak", said Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the Senate. Efforts by Western countries to isolate Russia failed, and they were doomed to fail, considering the country's vast territory and role on the global arena, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview to Fox News on Monday. "I had to reiterate things I said several times, including during our personal contacts, that the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere into internal American affairs including election process".

Trump's warm words for Russian Federation were a marked contrast from the past week when he repeatedly rebuked long-standing U.S. allies at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and during a visit to Britain.

Katko's statement read: "I want to be completely clear: I trust the unanimous conclusion of our nation's intelligence agencies that Russian Federation conducted an aggressive hacking and disinformation campaign in the United States".

Trump said Putin made a "very powerful" denial of Moscow's 2016 campaign influence operation and said he has "confidence in both parties".

What has USA reaction been?

Senator Tom Cotton released a statement, saying the reason the relationship between the United States and Russian Federation "remains at a historic low" is that "Vladimir Putin is a committed adversary of the United States".

He added that there was "no question" Moscow had interfered in the 2016 election. "It makes us less safe", Biden said of Trump's remarks.

"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant". He says he liked what Mr. Trump's had to say.

We saw our president once again malign the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department for investigating Russian interference in our 2016 election, then decline to object when Putin denied his country's involvement.

He tweeted: "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???".

Meanwhile, Vice-President Mike Pence, in a speech at the US Department of Commerce, defended the summit and praised President Trump.

Trumped stunned United States political allies and foes alike with his answer to a question about Russian hacking and interference in the 2016 election which saw him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

What did President Putin say?

We do think it's reckless to suggest at this point, as Democratic leaders did later Monday, that Russian Federation must have compromising info on our president.

Putin said the meeting showed that Western efforts to isolate Russian Federation with sanctions and other measures had failed.

Toomey said in a statement that unless Putin helps the United States prosecute Russians accused in the hacking, "the United States should impose tough new sanctions on Russia".

European allies are uneasy.

Trump couched the summit as a triumph of diplomacy, saying he was demonstrating statesmanship by agreeing to the meeting with Putin and savaging those who have expressed concern over its timing and what might have been on the table.

  • Leroy Wright