Asked whether or not he believes his personal intelligence businesses, which say that Russia interfered in the 2016 United States election, or Mr. Putin, who denies it, Mr. Trump refused to say, however he expressed doubt about whether or not Russia was guilty.
Mr. Trump raised the matter of Russian electoral meddling, the two leaders stated at the information convention, and Mr. Putin reiterated his denial of Russian involvement.
Dan Coats, the director of nationwide intelligence, and different American intelligence officers “said they think it’s Russia,” Mr. Trump stated. “I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
But when requested instantly whom he believes, Mr. Trump modified the topic to what he stated was misconduct by Democrats throughout the marketing campaign.
The president’s ambivalence, after the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence brokers over the election hacking, and after the findings of congressional committees, represents a outstanding divergence between Mr. Trump and the American nationwide safety equipment.
Mr. Putin stated: “President Trump mentioned the so-called interference of Russia in the American elections. I had to reiterate things I said several times: that the Russian state has never interfered, and is not going to interfere, in internal American affairs, including the election process.”
He supplied to have Russian intelligence businesses work with their American counterparts to get to the backside of the matter.
“What he did is an incredible offer,” Mr. Trump stated. “He supplied to have the folks engaged on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 folks. I feel that’s an unbelievable provide.
Back dwelling, some Republicans have been taking one other view
Republican leaders have been largely silent after Mr. Trump’s information Mr. Putin, however a scattering of Republicans have been aghast.
“I never thought that I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian president and place blame on the United States for aggression. This is shameful,” Jeff Flake, the retiring Arizona senator, said on Twitter.
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, joined in. “This is bizarre and flat-out wrong,” he stated. “The United States is to not blame.
“America desires relationship with the Russian folks however Vladimir Putin and his thugs are answerable for Soviet-style aggression. When the president performs these ethical equivalence video games, he provides Putin a propaganda win he desperately wants.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan stated: “There is not any query that Russia interfered in our election and continues makes an attempt to undermine democracy right here and round the world. That isn’t just the discovering of the American intelligence group but additionally the House Committee on Intelligence. The president should respect that Russia just isn’t our ally. ”
Representative Justin Amash, a libertarian-minded Republican from Michigan, weighed in additional tepidly, however with eyebrows arched: “A person can be in favor of improving relations with Russia, in favor of meeting with Putin, and still think something is not right here,” he wrote on Twitter.
Democrats weren’t so circumspect. Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts known as Mr. Trump’s efficiency a “national embarrassment.” And John O. Brennan, who was C.I.A. director beneath President Barack Obama, spoke of impeachment: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”