Trump adds, "And one thing you know: If they had it, it would have been out".
Even before the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, tensions were high over Moscow's concerns about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expansion, Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its military backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war in 2015. Putin called the allegations "sheer nonsense".
At Trump's joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki today, Trump was asked if he holds Russian Federation "accountable for anything in particular". "I think that the United States now has stepped forward along with Russian Federation, and we're getting together and we have a chance to do some great things, whether it's nuclear proliferation in terms of stopping - you have to do it, ultimately that's probably the most important thing that we could be working on".
"As I said today and many times before, "I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people", Trump said on Twitter. "However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along".
Most astonishing, President Trump then went on to cast doubt on the conclusions of his own intelligence community and offer a moral equivalency between Putin - a former KGB operative who has long worked against America's national security - and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. "But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake", he wrote, in a statement.
Still, Putin said he had indeed wanted Trump to win the election a revelation that might have made more headlines if not for Trump's performance but had taken no action to make it happen.
"Interference with the domestic affairs of the United States - 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?"
Regarding Iran, Putin chastised the US president for weakening the Iran nuclear deal.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, an outspoken Putin critic who has an on-again, off-again relationship with Trump, tweeted: "If it were me, I'd check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House". Putin subsequently reiterated that Russian Federation had no ability to actually influence votes, and that the real issue at hand was the fact that the content of the emails revealed the DNC officials were biased towards Clinton.
Trump's remarks have drawn fire from Democrats and Republican critics in Congress.
Putin spoke during a joint news conference with Trump in Helsinki.
It's obvious that no amount of evidence will budge the president from his reluctance to acknowledge the past and present threat posed by Russian Federation to American democracy.
"This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves".
"President Trump has an army of elected officials, appointed officials and highly partisan members of the media who serve as his enablers, remaining silent, tacitly or explicitly endorsing statements they know to be untrue or policies they know to be unwise or unsafe", professor of American Studies Glenn Alt- schuler of Cornell University told The Straits Times. MORE, had told him that Russian Federation meddled in the election.
Mr Trump also appeared to embrace Mr Putin's offer to have Russian investigators work together with United States prosecutors on the case of the 12 just indicted.
The news conference also rattled some officials in the State and Defense Departments and in U.S. intelligence agencies, according to officials in five government offices. Browder was a driving force behind a USA law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses. "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".
Mr Putin added: "We had a good conversation with President Trump, and I hope that we start to understand each other better".
"I think the United States has been foolish", Trump said, to explain poor U.S. -Russia relationships.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday described the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Moscow's election meddling as "political games" that should not be permitted to interfere with US-Russia relations. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals.
Wallace noted that "they don't end up dead".
Much of the Republican rebuke came from lawmakers who have been willing to openly criticize the president, a group that remains a minority in the GOP.