Standing alongside Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump has insisted that there was no reason to mistrust his Russian counterpart.
Regarding allegations that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections, Donald Trump has sided with Vladimir Putin in casting doubt on the evidence presented by US intelligence agencies, which has in turn prompted a backlash back in the United States.
In a meeting where Donald Trump was facing pressure from critics, allied nations and even his own aids to take a hard line with Russia, the US President failed to mention a single critical thing regarding Vladimir Putin or his regime.
Donald Trump instead criticised the “stupidity” of US policy, drawing particular attention to the FBI investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.
Three days ago a US prosecutor announced an indictment of Russian spies for hacking into the network of the Democratic Party.
Donald Trump’s behaviour at the media conference with Vladimir Putin prompted a wave of criticism back in the USA. Apparently the White House has gone to great lengths to dispel suggestions that the President is unwilling to challenge Mr Putin.
Former CIA chief John Brennan called the President’s behaviour “treasonous” while the meeting was called a “tragic mistake” by long time Trump detractor Senator John McCain. Mr McCain went on to say that it was “one of the most disgraceful performances” by any US president in history.
When asked if he believed the findings of his intelligence agencies, which allege that Russia helped Trump to win the 2016 presidential election, Mr Trump insisted that he was not convinced it was definitely Moscow that interfered.
Trump said that his Russian counterpart was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial”.
Hours following the summit in Helsinki, Mr Trump took to Twitter to disclaim that he has “GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people”.
He also reasoned that because Russia and the USA were the “two largest nuclear powers” that “we must get along!”
Trump went on to say that he blamed the “foolishness” and “stupidity” of US foreign policy for souring relations with Russia to their worst point since the cold war.
Mr Putin has shared Mr Trump’s sentiments, also speaking about the importance of both countries working together. He at one point interrupted the conference to hand Mr Trump a soccer ball, no doubt in reference to the recent FIFA World Cup games in Russia.