Trump blames Washington for poor Russian Federation ties ahead of Putin summit

Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert all kicked off their Monday broadcasts with criticism of Trump's trip to Finland, in which he took a private meeting with Putin to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election, then proceeded to defend Russia in a press conference later that day.

After the leaders spent more than two hours in a one-on-one meeting, Trump indicated in a freewheeling press conference that - despite a concensus among the USA intelligence community - he believes Putin's denials about Russian interference in the 2016 election and declined to say he holds the nation accountable.

In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity that aired later Monday, Trump said "it's a shame" that he and Putin were being asked questions about the Russian Federation probe while they were trying to discuss issues like Syria and nuclear proliferation.

US President Donald Trump on Monday said Russian Federation and US had not been getting along for the past few years but the two countries had "great opportunities".

Kimmel also opened his Live broadcast with an incredulous recap of the summit meeting, summarizing it as "a total win for Putin and a shameful day for America".

Mr Trump may, on paper, be the ideal American president for Moscow.

The summit dominated the front pages of Europe's newspapers Tuesday with Spain's ABC running a full-page picture of the leaders of the world's biggest nuclear-armed nations shaking hands, under the tart headline: "Trump and Putin: Such friends".

The prime minister says Canada is also committed to standing with eastern European nations like Latvia, where he recently visited 450 Canadians troops leading a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battle group whose task is to protect against a Russian invasion.

The state news agency RIA-Novosti quoted a political analyst who believed Putin appeared to be the stronger of the two leaders.

He said Putin was "playing Trump and the United States like a fiddle".

Trump also appeared to embrace Putin's offer to have Russian investigators work together with USA prosecutors on the case of the 12 just indicted. "The damage inflicted by President Trump's naivete, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate".

"Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

"He is wholly in the pocket of Putin", Brennan tweeted, adding that Trump's behavior "exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors", meaning that it could be grounds for impeachment in Congress. The two leaders spoke at a joint news conference.

The summit began just hours after Trump blamed the United States - and not Russian election meddling or its annexation of Crimea - for a low-point in U.S. -Russia relations. "This is nonsense", Putin said in the press conference, responding to allegations of Russian meddling in US elections. It was a far cry from the heady days of January 2017, when May scored what was momentarily considered a diplomatic coup when she became the first foreign leader to secure a meeting with Trump at the White House. The Russians said it lasted two hours and 10 minutes.

Finns had spotted the cars in Helsinki, but the Kremlin even turned the question of whether Mr Putin would ride in one of them into a mystery.

The summit, which is being closely watched around the world, was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the U.S. indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Mr Trump's presidential campaign.

On Fox Business Network, reliable Trump cheerleader Maria Bartiromo told viewers "there is no question about" Russians having meddled in the election.

His performance was denounced as "treasonous" by a former Central Intelligence Agency chief and condemned as "shameful" by a Republican senator, although other Republicans were more cautious.

Asked about the indictments, Putin suggested that Moscow and Washington could jointly conduct the investigation, inviting special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators to come to Russian Federation to interview the 12 people - an idea Trump hailed as an "incredible offer".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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