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Helsinki summit: Trump condemns Russian Federation probe after Putin talks

16 Juillet 2018

In response to a question about whether he had wanted Trump to win the election, Putin said he did, because the businessman had pledged to improve ties between Washington and Moscow.

Instead, he denounced the "stupidity" of his own country's policy, especially the decision to investigate election interference.

Russia's new ambassador to Finland Pavel Kuznetsov, left, escorts Russian President Vladimir Putin as he disembarks the plane at Helsinki airport in Vantaa, Finland.

Trump acknowledged that Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, had told him that Russian Federation was behind the cyber-attack on American democracy but that Putin insisted it was not.

"I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, Trump said.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley told BuzzFeed "it's likely" that Putin has damaging information about the president. Perhaps the tweet was just in keeping with Trump's "low expectations" for the summit.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation, often dismissing the special counsel's probe as a "witch hunt". Asked if Russian Federation was at all to blame for the poor ties, he said: "I hold both countries responsible". "I think the European Union is a foe".

"The bigger picture is we need to hold the Russians accountable for what they did, their malign activity throughout Europe as well", Huntsman said on Sunday.

Last week, United States authorities indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential vote.

Trump adds that relations between the US and Russian Federation have never been worse. "I did not think this was a good moment for our country". In his initial interaction with Putin, Trump congratulated him for hosting "a very great world cup" which the US President described as "one of the best ever".

At the Finnish press conference, Putin did not actually explicitly deny the allegation that Russian operatives collected information on Trump, raising the possibility that Putin wants Trump to think he has compromising information - whether he does or not. While President Trump spoke for some time and Putin stayed largely quiet, the body language between the two presidents illustrated their respective styles going into the meeting.

President Trump doubled down on his belief that the United States and Russia must have good relations and did not mention that 12 Russian officials had recently been indicted for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Abortion-rights activists dressed as heavily pregnant Donald Trumps demonstrated on the streets of Helsinki, just a stone's throw away from where the U.S. and Russian presidents met. Our distinguished colleague, let me tell you this: "When President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn't even know he was in Moscow".

The former Central Intelligence Agency head, who has regularly criticized Trump throughout his presidency, also blasted Trump last week after he hammered allies about their contributions to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation at the group's annual summit.

Helsinki summit: Trump condemns Russian Federation probe after Putin talks