Trump Declines to Back US Intel on Russia Meddling

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

President Donald Trump denigrated the USA intelligence community in Helsinki today as he stood next to Russian Ruler Vladimir Putin who all US intelligence sources insist meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump's top national security officials, Democrats and most Republicans in Congress say USA intelligence agencies got it right in finding that Russians secretly tried to sway the election.

"Donald Trump met one-on-one with Vladimir Putin behind closed doors on Monday in a long-awaited summit overshadowed by the US President blaming his own country's past "foolishness and stupidity" for the two powers" hostile ties.

Key members of the US Congress, including some Republicans, criticised Trump's performance at the press conference.

Asked if he holds Russian Federation accountable for anything and, if so, what, Trump responded, "I do feel we have both made some mistakes".

At his press conference earlier in the day, Trump mentioned Coats, who was a senator from in and ambassador to Germany, by name in his remarks. 'I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be'.

The press conference was held just days after the U.S. Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents on charges of hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign to aid Trump.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today", Trump said.

Asked about extraditing the 12 Russians, Mr. Putin made the startling offer for Mr. Mueller to ask Moscow formally to hold and interrogate them.

"Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous", said John Brennan, director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013 to 2017.


Trump, in opening remarks, said that U.S. -Russia relations had been at their lowest point until the two sat down face-to-face in a highly-anticipated summit. He called the appointment of a special counsel on Russian interference and the involvement of USA persons in that effort, Robert Mueller III, a "disgrace" to the country and an impediment to his own efforts to improve ties with Russia.

Putin, for his part, said he and Trump have maintained regular contact through phone calls and meetings at global events but "the time has come to have a thorough discussion on various worldwide problems and sensitive issues".

In a tweet later Monday, Trump appeared to play down his earlier comments.

Mr. Putin also offered to work with the US analyzing the cyber attacks.

"Putin's words should never be given equal weight of our own Director of National Intelligence".

Trump has been reluctant to blame Russian Federation for the hacks and again Monday refused to embrace the intelligence community assessment.

Democrats were, of course, also harsh in their reaction to the president.

"I'm shaking my head like everyone else you've spoken to in the last 30 minutes or so", King said to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

Trump for his part blamed bad relations between Moscow and Washington on the USA investigation into alleged Russian election meddling.

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