President Trump, Russian President Putin Hold Joint News Conference Following Summit

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"This legislation to punish Putin cronies for the murder of my lawyer and other human rights violations has really upset Vladimir Putin", he said.

"Just by meeting with Vladimir Putin President Trump is potentially advancing Putin goals, ending some of his isolation after his illegal annexation of Crimea", Senator Chris Coons, D-DE, told Fox News Sunday. "I don't see any reason why it would be", said the USA president. "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".

He said: "The Russian state never interfered, and does not plan to interfere in internal American electoral process". Maria Butina, who purported to be a gun rights' activist, was charged with infiltrating the National Rifle Association (NRA) as part of efforts to influence the Republican party and USA politics.

At a time when the world really needed Mr Trump, as the leader of the free world, to stand up to his controversial counterpart, he couldn't say one critical word about Russian Federation on any of the issues that have brought relations between Washington and Moscow to a post-Cold War low.

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

Standing alongside Mr Putin, Mr Trump steered clear of any confrontation with the Russian, going so far as to question American intelligence and last week's federal indictments that accused 12 Russians of hacking into Democratic email accounts to hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016. He told CBS News that he didn't "expect anything" from Putin, while his national security adviser said the US wasn't looking for any "concrete deliverables".

PIFER: Trump's acceptance of Putin's denial of election-meddling over the considered judgment of the USA intelligence community (and the growing number of indictments of individual Russians) is astonishing.

Said Cobb: "Trump has unconscionably turned a blind eye to some of the worst anti-LGBTQ atrocities in a generation, including monstrous attacks on gay and bisexual men in Chechnya".

"We need our Republican colleagues to stand up for the good of this country", he said.

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Mr Trump said he had "low expectations" ahead of the talks, but "maybe some good" would come of them.

Clapper described Putin as an "arch enemy of the United States", who seeks to undermine its democracy and elections.

But over breakfast with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto, he insisted North Atlantic Treaty Organisation "has never been stronger" and "never been more together" thanks to his insistence on all allies paying their fair share. "He never mentioned his political ambitions".

Russia's President Vladimir Putin offers a ball of the 2018 football World Cup to President Donald Trump during a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.

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Their criticism followed Trump's claim that the FBI's investigation into Russian Federation had been "a disaster for our country".

"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse, " Mr Trump tweeted Monday morning, blaming "many years of United States foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"

"I think this is a so-called first meeting, where the main goal apparently is to test if the dialogue runs smoothly and if a common ground can be found rather than to address some kind of concrete issues", explained Niinistö. And I thought it was a disgrace to our country.

"Shameful, disgraceful, treasonous - those are some of the descriptions of what President Trump did today in Helsinki", Fox's Shepard Smith said to open his news show. "We have both made some mistakes". The investigation, which is also examining whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow, has also resulted in charges against several former Trump campaign officials.

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