But Monday's session was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the US indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump's presidential campaign.
This is a stunning moment, because President Trump was putting on both - really on both playing fields - on equal playing fields Russian Federation saying that they didn't do anything and USA intelligence agencies, the FBI, CIA, NSA, all saying that Russian Federation had something to do with meddling in our elections.
House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in to say there's "no question" that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election and "no moral equivalence" between the USA and Russian Federation.
A top Republican senator says President Donald Trump's refusal to condemn Russian interference in the 2016 US election makes the USA "look like a pushover" in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory", McCain said in a statement.More news: Underdog status suits Croatia perfectly for World Cup…
At the news conference, Trump cast doubt on the findings of American intelligence agencies and refused to blame Putin for meddling in the 2016 election.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called it "bizarre", Sen. He just said it's not Russian Federation. Back in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans slammed Trump's rhetoric.
"President Trump's conduct during today's press conference with Vladimir Putin was risky and reckless". Russia, he said, 'remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals'.
Senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump's answer on meddling "will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness".
Fellow GOP politicians have generally stuck with Trump during a year and a half of turmoil, but he was assailed as seldom before as he returned home Monday night from what he had hoped would be a proud summit with Putin. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., called it "shameful".
"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of United States foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" he said on Twitter.
Earlier Monday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Trump's performance in Helsinki "proves that the Russians have something on the president, personally, financially, or politically".More news: Roger Federer eliminated at Wimbledon
A lot of people are outraged, and it looks like Anderson Cooper not only is one of them but is also not afraid to say it. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) tweeted that Trump's performance at the press conference was "jaw-dropping" and "disgraceful".
"Today's meeting is only the beginning of a longer process, but we have taken the first steps towards a brighter future", Trump said.
It was also dubbed as the "Treason Summit" by CIA Director John Brennan.
"It was nothing short of treasonous". When then-Fox News host Bill O'Reilly referred to Putin as "a killer" in a February 2017 interview, the newly inaugurated President shot back: "There are a lot of killers".
"I felt like that everyone who's dealt with Putin understands fully that the best way to deal with him is through strength", Corker told reporters.
Putin didn't want to see it, Wallace said.More news: Trump calls out Sessions over Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page's no-show at Congress
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