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Mr. Trump seemed to accept Putin's denial of interference, despite the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation did in fact meddle in the 2016 election. The senator said that American intelligence agencies confirmed that Russians meddled in the 2016 elections and that it was nearly certainly at the direction of the Russian government and Putin.

President Trump had multiple opportunities Monday to condemn President Vladimir Putin for Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

President Trump ultimately validated Putin at the expense of American intelligence by giving credence to Putin's claim to have not interfered in our elections.

Schumer described himself as "appalled" by Trump's performance at a joint press conference with Putin during which the USA leader refused to state Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election and contradicted his own intelligence agency bosses.

In a statement, Schumer said that Trump's behavior leaves "a single, ominous question ... over the White House". So you have some back and forth there within the USA administration.

"Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors, '" Brennan tweeted.

In this case, Trump sided with his Russian counterpart by openly questioning his own intelligence agencies' findings that Moscow was behind the 2016 US elections.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called it "bizarre." Sen.

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", said Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. After two hours alone in a room with their interpreters, Trump and Putin convened a more traditional-style bilateral meeting, seated at a large conference table surrounded by senior officials from both countries.

Trump deferred to Putin a question about extraditing the 12 Russian military intelligence officers named in a Friday indictment for the alleged 2016 hacking of Democrats, while accusing Democrats of using the "collusion" allegations to explain why they lost to Trump. Russia, he said, 'remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals'.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., tweeted, "This is shameful." Sen. "We did make a good start today", he said.

"Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections", Graham tweeted.

The Wisconsin Republican says the American intelligence community and the House Intelligence Committee agree that Russian Federation interfered in the election. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) tweeted that Trump's performance at the press conference was "jaw-dropping" and "disgraceful".

"We're all to blame", Trump said.

Coat's predecessor, James Clapper, called Trump's acquiescence to Putin "an incredible capitulation", while former Central Intelligence Agency chief John Brennan labelled it "nothing short of treasonous".

Trump's performance in the press conference stoked anger from members of his own party, earning rebukes from some senators and representatives.

James Clapper, who was director of national intelligence under Obama, described Trump's comments as "very, very disturbing".

President Trump had previously said that he was going into the meeting with "low expectations".

According to Trump, the pair "spoke of Russian interference in the election".

Putin said, however, that Russian Federation would impose "another condition", so that it was a "mutual" effort. 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".