U.S. Senate Democratic leader: Trump 'putting himself over' U.S.

US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands after their joint news conference in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki Finland

Trump wrote on Twitter as he prepared to meet Finland's president, Sauli Niinisto, for breakfast. Even the real-time criticism from Republicans made it clear that the meeting in Helsinki could be a seminal moment of this presidency.

If Trump does not forcefully bring up Russia's election hacking, he will open himself up to yet more criticism from both the left and the right, among those who believe Trump is not taking the hacking seriously and is not working hard enough to prevent Russian Federation from sowing chaos in USA elections again.

He has not held back in the harsh language he uses to describe the president.

"I think the world really wants to see us get along".

But Trump declined the opportunity to denounce Putin for the interference efforts, which US intelligence agencies insist did occur, including hacking of Democratic emails, the subject of last week's indictment of 12 Russians.

"Presidents Trump and Putin respect each other and they get along well", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Sasse rebuked Trump's statement that he held "both countries responsible" for the deteriorated relationship between the United States and Russian Federation.

"There can not be any equivocation: Vladimir Putin is to blame for Russia's poor relations with the United States and the rest of the free world", Tillis said in a statement.

"The probe is a disaster for our country". I think the U.S. has been foolish.

President Donald Trump, while standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, refused to acknowledge what major USA major intelligence agencies have been saying for more than a year: That Russian nationals, following orders from Putin, interfered in the 2016 election and carried out cyberattacks on American political figures.

US President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki Finland
Trump meets Putin after denouncing past US policy on Russia

The reported rebuke apparently came on the same March 20 call in which Trump was believed to have congratulated Putin on his election victory despite being warned several times by top aides against doing so.

Putin wouldn't commit to extraditing Russian intelligence officers indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

If that is anathema to many in Washington, Trump's apparent concessions to Putin over the election controversy drew stinging condemnation from across the political divide.

"There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals". And he expressed concerns over Trump withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear pact. For those keeping track at home, that was not a yes. He said USA prosecutors could ask to interrogate the Russians accused of meddling in the US elections. "We are the two great nuclear powers", Trump said.

How would that work?

Trump's answer to a question on election interference, in which he attacked US Democrats rather than Moscow's spies, "will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves", Graham charged. The Kremlin, he said, would allow Mueller's team to visit Moscow and to question suspects. He has repeatedly noted that Putin denies it, while also saying that it is alleged to have taken place before he became president. Their denials are consistent with their previous statements on the issue, with Trump saying in the past that he accepted Putin's denial of involvement. It's something a lot of people are wondering these days, considering Trump's recent disturbing behavior. "For us, it's a closed question", he said.

Hundreds of people also marched through the streets of the Finnish capital, demonstrating against Trump and Putin's presence in the country.

"Isn't it natural to feel sympathy to a person who wanted to develop relations with our country?"

Trump also thanked Niinisto for his presence at last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels - depsite Finland not being a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member state.

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