In Russia, meeting with Trump seen as strong win for Putin

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

Trump spoke of the 2016 electoral college map and of online conspiracy theories created to undermine an ongoing investigation into Russia's role in the race, questioning why law enforcement failed to seize Democratic National Committee servers that were hacked by Russian military intelligence officers and whether it was that organization - not his campaign - that had conspired with Moscow to lose the election.

The sight of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin not attacking each other at the press conference following their summit in Helsinki sent mainstream US media into a spiral of rage.

Trump roiled Washington on Monday when he refused to denounce Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and said both countries were to blame for the current low point in U.S. -Russia relations.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is countering his boss, President Donald Trump, and doubling down on the assertion that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election. Thirty-one percent of Americans who didn't vote in 2016 say that they've heard nothing at all in the news recently about Trump and Russian Federation, compared to just 6 percent of either Clinton or Trump voters who say the same.

Evelyn Farkas, the former State Department official in charge of Russian Federation during the Obama administration, declared it "despicable" that Trump was siding "against democracy", reminding viewers she's descended from Hungarian immigrants who fled a Soviet crackdown in 1956.

There were mixed reactions on Fox News Channel, whose commentators usually represent Trump's biggest supporters.

"It is clear Russia's intentions", he said. "Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russian Federation for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament - one of the best ever!" Standing next to his Russian counterpart, Trump openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' conclusions that Moscow was to blame for meddling in the election to Trump's benefit and seemed to accept Putin's insistence that Russia's hands were clean.


Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., called it "shameful". "I really think the world wants to see us get along".

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

Asked if he believed United States intelligence agencies, which concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election to help him defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, he said he was not convinced. "I think the members of Congress certainly need to look into the details of that, but that's not something I have any privvied information about". "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin".

Putin denied anew that the Russian government interfered, regardless of what non-governmental Russian actors might have done. And following the Trump-Putin summit and news conference on Monday, a handful of GOP politicians and conservative pundits criticized Trump's performance.

Standing next to the Russian leader, Trump also bashed the Democratic Party, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling, Hillary Clinton and members of the news media. Tammy Baldwin was critical of President Trump's comments.

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Monday's news conference turned on some sharp questions by Jonathan Lemire, White House correspondent for The Associated Press.

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