Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

"They initially asked him to step out of the room, which he did peacefully", White House correspondent Jim Acosta explained during CNN's live coverage of the meeting.

Just hours before his meeting with Putin, Trump blamed "many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity", in reference to previous administrations, and the ongoing Russian Federation probe for the bad state of bilateral relations.

"Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory, " Sen.

Corker, speaking to reporters outside his office on Capitol Hill, repeatedly expressed his disappointment and declared that Trump's press conference with Putin "made us look as a nation more like a push over". "Do you think that we tried to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them?"

"I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship", Trump said.

The US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman Jr., says it's time to move forward from the election tampering.

The most consistent critic of Trump in the upper chamber has been Flake's fellow Arizonan John McCain, who a year ago helped scuttle the president's attempt to get rid of the Affordable Health Care Act, known as Obamacare.

And yet on Monday, presented with overwhelming evidence that a foreign actor struck against the very heart of our democracy in a blatant act of war, President Donald Trump chose to discredit the investigation while sharing a stage with the foreign dictator who assueredly orchestrated the attack.

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The Russian and United States leaders began the talks with exchanging brief greetings. A Finnish newspaper placed billboards around Helsinki with various messages for Trump - like "Make Human Rights Great Again" and "Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press".

But their relationship is far from chummy after an explosive phone call was exchanged between the pair that saw a usually cool and composed President Trump uncharacteristically lose his rag with the Russian leader. But we had much better defenses.

Trump and Putin touched on issues that included tensions on the Korean peninsula and the situation in Syria during their summit, Putin said. We are the two great nuclear powers. "Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe", the POTUS tells CBS News. "When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs", Sasse said.

The president sees Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, which Trump calls a "witch hunt", as a potential hurdle between the U.S. and Russian Federation. "We also discussed at length the crisis in Syria".

The summit would cover nuclear disarmament, said Trump, who has bridled at the rapid expansion and modernisation by Putin of Russia's nuclear arsenal.

"Syria could be the first showcase example of joint work", he said.

A lot of the questions focused on Russia's intrusion into the United States election campaign (the considered position of the key U.S. intelligence agencies) and specifically the indictment by the Mueller probe of 12 Russian intelligence agents.

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