'Defended a Tyrant': McCain, GOP Lawmakers Rip Trump Over 'Tragic' Putin Summit

Wednesday, 18 Jul, 2018

One U.S. senator suggested Trump check it for listening devices and never let it enter the White House. 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.

Putin said both countries considered it "necessary" to further work together on many issues, including extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the unsafe situation surrounding the development of elements of the global system of American missile defense, and the implementation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles as well as avoiding weapons being placed in space.

"The president is doing grave harm to the standing of these United States while kowtowing to". I think the United States has been foolish. "We should've had this dialogue a long time ago - a long time, frankly, before I got to office".

The former Republican presidential candidate said it wouldn't have helped matters for Mr. Trump to call Mr. Putin a liar to his face, after the Russian leader repeatedly denied his government's interference in the 2016 US election.

The press conference closed out the Trump-Putin summit, in which the American president delivered what amounted to a warm embrace to the man who for years has been isolated by the US and Western allies for Russia's activities in Ukraine, Syria and beyond.

When the same reporter asked Putin why Trump and the American people should believe his denials that the Russian government interfered in the USA election, Putin used a philosophical evasion. Seventy-one percent of Clinton voters consider Trump's handling of Russian Federation to present a very serious problem, compared to the 57 percent of Trump voters who don't believe it's a problem at all.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who rarely criticizes Trump publicly, contradicted Trump's equivocations about Moscow's election meddling and said "the president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally". "However, that changed as of about four hours ago", the USA president declared at the news conference. Neither did an earlier meeting between Putin and Trump, or the release of emails confirming that Trump's eldest son met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, or former Trump adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian officials.

I have great confidence in my intelligence people.

"Speaking of football, actually, Mr President, I will give the ball to you and now the ball is in your court".

Mr Putin reiterated that Russian Federation had never interfered in U.S. affairs.

And while some key GOP players made it clear they had had enough of Trump's refusal to side with the US intelligence community over Russian denials about meddling in the 2016 presidential election, it was unclear and unlikely the latest furor would diminish GOP support for major Trump initiatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. "So far that I know virtually none of it related to the campaign". 'I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be'. "I really believe that". The thing for me is: "Why did Trump behave like this?"

Then he twice called Putin's suggestion that Russian officials question the indicted Russian intelligence officers in the presence of Mueller's investigators an "incredible offer".

In Helsinki, Putin was asked if he favored Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Putin said he favored Trump in the election, but did not indicate whether he did anything to help him. Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this unsafe behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump. "I don't even remember their last names", he said, denying that Russian Federation spied on them.