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Russian President Vladimir Putin's Helsinki showmanship starts with his new limo

17 July 2018

Bob Corker of Tennessee. The only points of disagreement came when Putin gently chided Trump for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and when the Russian leader, not Trump himself, explained the USA position on Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Trump played into the hands of the Russian rhetoric that NATO is weak, leaving USA allies with the impression of "the US being a non-dependable ally for NATO", Flake said. A wary and robust stance toward Russian Federation has been a bedrock of his party's world view.

In tweets Monday, Mr Trump continued to undermine the investigation and blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for failing to stop Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election in Mr Trump's favour.

Asked by Stephanopoulos whether he believes Putin has compromising information on Trump, Flake said, "I have a hard time believing that".

"My people came to me - Dan Coats came to me, some others - they said they think it's Russia", Trump said, referring to the director of national intelligence.

When asked by CNBC Monday if he was concerned by the pattern of suspicious deaths in the United Kingdom which some say are proof Britain has become a killing ground for the state-sanctioned elimination of enemies of the Russian government, Browder said that he is taking precautions but that there is nothing he can really do to stop a "government-sponsored terrorist attack".

"I still don't understand why he didn't trust John Bolton, Mike Pompeo to be in that meeting", Mr. Brennan said.

"I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, Trump said.

Taking direct issue with the president who appointed him, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said U.S. spy agencies have been "clear" and "fact-based" in their assessment that Moscow interfered in the presidential race two years ago - an assessment that Trump refused to endorse in Helsinki. Kimmel ended by saying Monday's summit was a "total win for Putin and a shameful day for America".

Sen. John McCain, R-Aria., described the Trump-Putin summit as "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", said Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"The damage inflicted by President Trump's naivete, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate", McCain said in a blistering statement. Brennan wondered, "Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

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

For his "A Closer Look" segment, NBC's Seth Meyers broke down Trump's news conference with Putin, saying the president delivered "one of the most surreal performances by a president in modern American history" and "twisted himself in knots to take Putin's side".

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Trump's news conference with Putin was "beneath the dignity" of his office. "It's kept us apart, it's kept us separated".

Before that, Mueller brought charges against 13 Russians and three companies accused in a social media campaign to sway USA public opinion in 2016. And it came at the end of an extraordinary trip to Europe in which Trump had already berated allies, questioned the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and demeaned leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel and Britain's Theresa May.

"This was not the plan", a USA official directly involved in planning the Helsinki summit between the leaders told CNN.

The lawyer's recent statements have caused some to speculate he may be cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 election. He said Mr. Trump's behavior "may reflect that concern" that the Russians will use his past against him. Browder, an outspoken Putin critic, was a driving force behind a US law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses.

"We both spoke with [Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu] and they would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel", Trump said.

Mr Trump added they had discussed disagreements between their countries "at length", and accepted that relations between them have never been worse.

The US president returned to Washington on Monday night after being accused of "treasonous" behaviour during a news conference with his Russian counterpart in Finland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's Helsinki showmanship starts with his new limo