Lawmakers call Trump's performance alongside Putin 'bizarre,' 'shameful'

Annette Crawford
July 17, 2018

Republicans joined Democrats and national security experts in forcefully condemning President Donald Trump for essentially giving Vladimir Putin a pass on Russia's interference in the U.S. presidential election.

House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a strongly worded statement, saying there's "no question" that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and noting that US intelligence agencies and a House panel agreed.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said Russian Federation undoubtedly interfered in the 2016 election.

"I just saw a USA secret service agent put the soccer ball Putin gave Trump through a security scanner outside the Pres. Palace", Bill Neely, a reporter for NBC, wrote later in a tweet.

Putin said the talks were "open and business-like" and said, "I think we can call it a success".

Seated in Helsinki's ornate Gothic Hall, Putin appeared to slouch in his chair and looked off to the side at times on Monday, avoiding eye contact with Trump at the start of their high-profile talks.

Trump doesn't want aides, who may take a harder line on Russian Federation, undercutting or interrupting him in his conversation with Putin. But he continues to face questions about whether he's playing into the hands of Putin, who has long sought to exacerbate and exploit tensions among Western allies.

Top U.S. intelligence officials - including those serving in Trump's Cabinet - have backed up the Obama-era assessment. Key GOP lawmakers at least initially refrained from directly attacking Trump's performance, and at least one echoed the president's criticism of the special counsel probe. "President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

Trump for his part blamed bad relations between Moscow and Washington on the USA investigation into alleged Russian election meddling.

Both Senate and House Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi went so far as to hint that Trump's behavior might be explained by Putin possibly having some embarrassing information about Trump. "We have 90 percent of the nuclear and that's not a good thing, it's a bad thing".

Trump deflected responsibility for confronting Moscow, saying in tweets and interviews that former President Barack Obama had done nothing to prevent the hacks of Democratic email accounts or to punish the Russians afterward. Putin arrived at the presidential palace first, fifteen minutes late, where Trump headed to even later from the Hilton Kalastajantorppa.

Officials at the Kremlin and the White House say Putin and Trump will discuss numerous issues causing the most friction between the countries. Other issues expected to come up include Russian election meddling, Crimea, and Syria.

Speaking on Monday, President Putin offered to allow United States investigators to visit Russian Federation to question the officers.

When Trump spoke, Putin leaned to his right in his chair, his elbow placed on the armrest near a small table that separated the two.

"The president must demand that the 12 Russians named in the indictment be sent to the stand trial", said Sen.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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