Wave of condemnation hits Trump after summit with Putin

Andrew Harnik | AP  President Donald Trump walks towards the West Wing of the White House in Washington Wednesday

Democratic leaders in Washington said Trump's conduct during Monday's press conference with Putin reinforced concerns that Putin "holds damaging information" over the U.S. president.

On Friday, a USA special counsel announced indictments of 12 Russian spies on charges of hacking Democratic Party computer networks as part of the election meddling, the second set of charges against Russians in an investigation that Trump calls a political witch hunt.

The speaker of the house of Representatives of Congress Paul Ryan said that he had "no doubt" that Moscow interfered in the elections of 2016 in the United States, and that trump "should appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally".

Trump told reporters he "spent a great deal of time" talking about the allegation with Putin, while Putin categorically denied any interference in the USA internal affairs. "After Putin also affirmed his claim during the press conference, Trump added that "[Putin] just said it's not Russian Federation. "Dan Coats [the director of national intelligence] came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation".

"In the history of our country, Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an adversary in the way Trump supported President Putin". "I don't see any reason why it would be", he added.

He noted Putin's offer for USA officials to work with Russian investigators to question those whom special counsel Robert Mueller indicted.

Senator Susan Collins said Trump's "position is untenable", while Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, also a Republican, outlined Russian aggression on several fronts and said the United States "will not tolerate hostile Russian activities against us or our allies". So you have some back and forth there within the US administration.

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The meeting came three days after the special counsel charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with election interference. I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation.

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks with reporters during his weekly press conference at the Capitol, July 12, 2018, in Washington. "He was a rich person, but, well, there's plenty of rich persons in the United States".

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at their press conference.

John McCain's verdict on President Donald Trump's performance at the summit in Helsinki was brutal, but just: "No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant". "We did make a good start today", he said.

The meeting was panned by pundits and lawmakers across the ideological divide, as lawmakers and pundits denounced the President for cozying up to Putin at the expense of U.S. interests.

However, before the summit began, Mr Trump blamed his own country for the deterioration in relations.

In an op-ed published Monday Paul said he will visit Russian Federation in the coming weeks "to discuss trade, cultural exchanges and how to better work for peace and prosperity in the world".

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