WashPost: Trump Ignored His Staff's Advice on Putin

Chris McGrath  Getty Images

Anderson Cooper said the president's performance at the press conference was disgraceful.

"If you are wondering whether or not Vladimir Putin has an incriminating video of Donald Trump, we now know, beyond a treasonable doubt, that he does", he said.

Raul Grijalva said in his response: "Despite overwhelming evidence of Russian meddling in our election, Trump refused to defend American democracy today".

"I've seen Russian intelligence manipulate many people over my professional career and I never would have thought that the US President would become one of the ones getting played by old KGB hands", he tweeted.

"Today was a sad and unprecedented day in history - an American president stood with Russian Federation over our own country", she said in a statement. "For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak". "Instead of holding Vladimir Putin accountable in Helsinki, President Trump embraced him and in doing so diminished America's standing in the global community and shamed the office of the presidency". Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., raised the possibility that Putin has made Trump a "Russian asset".

Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D-01) said in a tweet, "Today's meeting and press conference were a slap in the face to all of the courageous men and women in our military and civilian intelligence agencies as they work to get to the bottom of Russia's efforts to meddle in our elections".

"Strength is the one language for which Vladimir Putin needs no interpreter", Cotton said. "Russia has conducted a coordinated cyberattack on state election systems, and hacked critical infrastructure". In that case, he should not object to the hackers recently indicted being brought to justice.

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His critics, including the former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan , saw this as nothing less than treason . McCain called the press conference "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

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Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who has been an outspoken critic of the FBI's handling of the Russian Federation investigation and also is not seeking re-election, said he's confident that the intelligence community and other officials "will be able to communicate to the President it is possible to conclude Russian Federation interfered with our election in 2016 without de-legitimizing his electoral success". Well, that's something that happens on the USA soil.

Trump stunned United States political allies and foes alike with his answer to a question about Russian hacking and interference in the 2016 election which saw him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump's warm words for Russian Federation were a marked contrast from the past week when he repeatedly rebuked traditional USA allies at a summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and during a visit to Britain.

"In a trade sense, they've really taken advantage of us", he said, adding that Russian Federation was a foe in "certain respects".

Yet Mr Trump appeared to take Mr Putin's word in dismissing that conclusion.

Interested in Donald Trump? "They should not expect, however, to be misrepresented and abandoned by the President of the United States". In a series of tweets, the Democrat said that the president had strengthened his adversaries while weakening his country.

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