Putin summit brings end to frosty US-Russia relations

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki Finland Monday
Trump Questions US Intel, Not Putin, on Russia 2016 Meddling
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18 July, 2018

"He just said it's not Russia", Trump said of Putin. "The Cold War is a thing of the past, the situation in the world has drastically changed", said Putin. "However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"

Coats was joined by many former intelligence officials who went much further in slamming Trump's performance in Helsinki.

Russian Federation has no extradition treaty with the United States, so it is unlikely it would turn the suspects over to the United States to stand trial.

"There are a lot of killers", Trump said. "To refuse to engage would not accomplish anything". While the United States promotes democracy and human rights, Vladimir Putin has invaded Ukraine, backed Assad's gas attacks on the Syrian people, and used cyber-attacks and propaganda campaigns to undermine our democracy.

"As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining worldwide security", he said. Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion and called the investigation a "witch hunt".

California Rep. Ed Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said there is "no way" that Trump should be comparing the actions of US intelligence agencies to that of Putin's Kremlin.

He made it clear that, in return, Russian Federation would want similar access to people in the USA it suspects of criminal activity.

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

Trump criticized the Brexit deal that she negotiated regarding Britain's departure from the European Union, then called her a great leader who should do as she sees fit. "If they had [evidence], it would have been out long ago", he said.

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

Special counsel Robert Mueller shed light on that question last week with an indictment against 12 Russian military intelligence officers, alleging a sweeping conspiracy to interfere in the election.

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'As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.' However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!

While acknowledging there were still challenges ahead in improving relations between the two countries Putin said he was was "glad" at the outcome of Monday's talks.

Senior Republican Senator John McCain said it was a "disgraceful performance" by a USA president.

Putin on Monday, alongside Trump at the news conference, invited Mueller's investigators to visit Russian Federation.

"I have covered this president since the moment he was sworn in and have never been at a press conference like this one".

"Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections", tweeted Graham, a military veteran and senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", Ryan said, adding Moscow "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals".

Other high-profile Republicans also expressed dismay.

Brett Baier, who hosts Special Report, wondered how exactly the summit might improve USA interests and brought up the Republican lawmakers who were putting out statements against the summit, such as Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) and Jeff Flake (R-Arizona).

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., also condemned Trump's comments.


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