Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

German Chancellor Angela Merkel left US President Donald Trump and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pose for a family

AP President Trump was flanked by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the NATO summit

"It means that they are competitive".

"The EU is not our foe - that's ridiculous", McFaul said.

"America and the European Union are best friends", Tusk tweeted.

Just this past week, Trump's director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, compared the danger of Russian cyberattacks to the terrorist threat posed to the United States in the run-up to 9/11.

"Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy", Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

Democrats sounded similar alarm. Sen.

Many in Washington were agog at Mr. Trump's decision to sit one-on-one with Mr. Putin, a former KGB spymaster, anxious about what he might bargain away after previously cosying up to the autocratic leaders of China and North Korea.

"Russia has to be on alert and remains on alert" following Trump's demands to increase North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense spending, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the state-funded RT news channel Monday.

National security adviser John Bolton anticipated this kind of criticism weeks ago when the Putin summit was announced.

"Usually it's a bit of a love fest", Axios quoted a source close to Trump as saying of the leaders' calls.

The president taped the interview Saturday in Scotland, a day before he was set to leave for Helsinki for the summit.

On Syria, Putin said the conditions were in place for effective co-operation between the USA and Russian Federation, whose military intervention in 2015 saved the Assad regime from collapse. "We have 90% of the nuclear and that's not a good thing, that's a bad thing, and I think we hopefully can do something about that because it's not a positive force, it's a negative force, so we'll be talking about that among other things".

"Many countries are not paying what they should".

The summit started late because Putin arrived in Helsinki about a half hour behind schedule in another display of the Russian's leader famous lack of punctuality. "I think that the United States has now stepped forward along with Russian Federation". Trump told reporters during a breakfast Monday with Finland's president that he thought the summit would go "fine". And, hopefully, someday, maybe he'll be a friend.

Russia's Vladimir Putin said Monday he did want Donald Trump to win the 2016 USA presidential election but took no action during the campaign to make it happen. Browder was a driving force behind a USA law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses.

Other accusations, denied by Moscow, include that it meddled in European politics, supplied the weapon that shot down a passenger plane in 2014 over Ukraine, and was behind the poisoning of the former Russian spy in Britain. I mean, we have intelligence reports saying Russian Federation was behind it. "And we get along in Syria too", he said.

At the same time, Trump has floated the idea of allowing Russian Federation back into the G7, making it the G8.

Hovering over Helsinki is the spectre of the 2016 election interference and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian Federation. "What will happen with Crimea from this point on?"

Trump's willingness to accept Putin's denials puts him at odds, not only with his US intelligence agencies and lawmakers from both parties, but also his own national security adviser, John Bolton, who said Sunday that after seeing the indictments, he found it "hard to believe" that Putin was unaware of election interference. The president granted a similar concession to North Korea last month, halting USA military exercises with South Korea at the request of Kim Jong Un.

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