Standing next to Russia's Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' conclusions that Moscow was to blame for meddling in the 2016 US election to Trump's benefit and seemed to accept Putin's insistence that Russia's hands were clean.
The White House said the one-on-one sit-down lasted for about two hours before the meetings opened up to a working lunch with the Russian delegation and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and National Security Council Director of Russian Affairs Fiona Hill.
"I don't know what it would have accomplished if Trump said, 'I believed Putin did it, '" Mr. Giuliani said.
"There's no question that Putin interfered in the elections", Corker told reporters in Washington. I will say this.
"What we actually got back from Putin quite publicly was, I would say, a rather subtle trolling". "President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today". Vladimir Putin is not our friend and never has been. Later, Trump hinted that Putin's ideas was to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller come to Russia and watch as Russian officials interviewed the 12 Russian nationals indicted for meddling in the 2016 election.
Putin, when asked about his country's attempts to sway the US election, said: "The Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere into internal American affairs, including election process".
"I never thought 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 Russian aggression".
The fresh indictments had prompted a number of USA senators, all but one of them Democrats, to request Trump cancel his summit with Putin.
Daniel Coats was tapped by the president previous year to serve as director of national intelligence.
Donald Trump's press conference with Vladimir Putin will go down in history as one of the most astonishing ever. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostle to our most basic values and ideals. "I think we've all been foolish".
And former CIA Director John O. Brennan going as far as to call Trump's performance "treasonous".
At the news conference, Trump was invited by reporters to offer any criticism of Russian Federation but he repeatedly declined.
"President Trump's weakness in front of Putin was embarrassing, and proves that the Russians have something on the President, personally, financially or politically", she said in a statement. Trump emoted via Twitter, en route to the U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also criticized Trump for his behavior at the press conference and even questioned if Putin could be blackmailing Trump with "damaging information". "I've been saying and I am sure you have heard over the years and as I campaigned that getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing, not a bad thing".
Trump on a Democratic National Committee server: "You have groups that are wondering why the Federal Bureau of Investigation never took the server".