Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump, Putin meeting kicks off in Helsinki

Trump, Putin meeting kicks off in Helsinki

He said he favored the celebrity businessman because of his policies.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said late on July 16 that Trump was wrong to question once again the conclusions of the U.S. Justice Department and intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

Trump on Monday said there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russians. Putin, as always, denied all.

Trump's renewed questioning of U.S. intelligence - at the same time he insisted that he has "great confidence" in it - came even as the U.S. Justice Department announced yet another indictment targeting an alleged Russian operative - this time, a woman in Washington who allegedly cultivated ties with Trump and his fellow conservatives as a covert agent for the Kremlin.

Putin spoke of the importance of the two countries working together and praised Trump, at one point interrupting the news conference to give the US President a football ball.

In light of Mr. Trump's comments about the intelligence community, Mr. Brennan said "there very well might be" a shift in the covert community to "withhold vital intelligence" in order to protect that information.

Putin, in his Fox interview, argued Russian Federation was too large a country to be sanctioned and isolated, but Trump was not asked in the press conference about the future status of sanctions.

"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse, " Mr Trump tweeted Monday morning, blaming "many years of USA foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"

"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse", Trump tweeted Monday morning, blaming "many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" "It makes us less safe", Biden said.

He said: "We should beware of the demagogues who are ready to declare a trade war against our friends, weakening our economy, our national security and the entire free world - all while cynically waving the American flag".

Their mood was downcast even before the summit kicked-off, disheartened by President Trump denouncing the European Union as a greater "foe" than Russian Federation and China in a media interview just hours before the summit in Finland's capital Helsinki.

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When he wasn't standing and feeling victorious, he sat with his wife Brigitte Macron, as well as leader Vladimir Putin of host country Russian Federation .

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He also says that Russian Federation is a foe "in certain respects" and that China is a foe "economically". Pressed as to why he first listed the European Union as a foe, Trump responded, "No, I look at them all".

"For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak", said Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the Senate.

'I think the world really wants us to get along, ' and added: 'I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship'. United States allies "are now agreeing to pay" their fair share, Trump added.

Their opening one-on-one session had been scheduled to run 90 minutes.

However, "that changed", he said, "as of about four hours ago".

For Brett Bruen, a former White House director of global engagement, watching Monday's news conference felt like witnessing "America's surrender" on the diplomatic stage to a tyrant bent on dividing the West.

Trump also held a private meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which may have contributed to the two countries' different understandings of their summit's outcome.

Putin said he'd expect the return the favour and co-operate in the Russian probe against William Browder, a British investor charged with financial crimes in Russia.

Trudeau says Canada remains strongly opposed to a host of Russian actions under Putin's watch, including the annexation of Crimea, its support for Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad and rebels in eastern Ukraine, and its use of chemical weapons in Britain. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who rarely criticizes Trump, stressed there was "no question" that Russian Federation had interfered.

Both leaders then shared a handshake in front of reporters, before heading off for their meeting. Just the two of them, each with a translator.

They were to continue their discussions with an expanded group of aides and over lunch in the Hall of Mirrors, once the emperor's throne room. Then came the joint news conference.

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