World Cup host Putin gives Trump a ball

Chris McGrath  Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump shows off a World Cup football given to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin

Chris McGrath Getty ImagesUS President Donald Trump shows off a World Cup football given to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump stood in Helsinki on Monday beside his patron, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and refused to confront him on Moscow's systematic interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on his behalf, its military intervention into a sovereign neighbor or on its continued effort to undermine democratic systems worldwide through propaganda and cyberwarfare.

President Trump sought to boost US-Russian ties when he met with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

The meeting was overshadowed in accounts from political analysts by the ongoing federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, which was brought to the fore on Friday with the indictment of 12 Russians by the US Department of Justice. "Instead, the president engaged in a deflection detour before arriving at this stunning remark: "[Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation.

- Trump said, "Putin was incredibly strong and powerful in his denial today". "Dan Coats [the director of national intelligence] came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation".

THE world was left retrieving their jaws from the floor following US President Donald Trump's extraordinarily spineless display alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, an unlikely hero was born.

He just said it's not Russian Federation. I will say this: "I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said.

Finns had spotted the cars in Helsinki, but the Kremlin even turned the question of whether Mr Putin would ride in one of them into a mystery.

"Do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?"

Here are a few of the key moments from their media conference.

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Sanders replied that she was not aware of his comments, and when Acosta tried to press Sanders further, she said the following. She is honest as the day is long. "To issue a blanket condemnation of the network as "fake news" is also unfair ".

"I think this is the beginning of the path". And we paint ours as if ours is always just on the up and up, but we get involved in foreign countries' elections. "I'm horrified - and have never been more proud of the fact that Putin hates my father so much he personally sanctioned him on Russia's enemies list".

"My first reaction was, wow, I've really gotten underneath Vladimir Putin's skin", Browder said during an interview on FOX Business' "Making Money with Charles Payne" on Monday. And while he denied ordering the election interference, he did, for the first time, acknowledge he had a preference in the 2016 race.

President Trump also charged President Barack Obama with knowing about Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok's behavior during the time he was texting anti-Trump sentiments to an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent with whom he was having an affair. And John Brennan, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center under former president George W. Bush and Central Intelligence Agency director under former president Barack Obama, said it amounted to an impeachable act.

But Trump attempted to keep the atmosphere upbeat, saying: 'Getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing, not a bad thing.

"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".

Trump's own national security adviser said the Russian election attack constituted an "act of war".

Trump also said in the CBS interview he had given no thought to asking Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets.

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Mr Trump later backtracked, tweeting that he had "great confidence in my intelligence people".

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