Ahead of Trump's meeting with Putin, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers had urged the USA president to press for the extradition to the United States of the Russian agents.
After welcoming Trump to Helsinki, Putin told Trump that it was time to talk about relations between Moscow and Washington and he suggested they should discuss hard multi-national issues. "Dan Coats [the director of national intelligence] came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation".
Putin showed up late to his meeting with the United States president in Helsinki Monday after arriving in the Finnish capital late. "The US is expected to host the 2026 World Cup", President Putin said.
In case President Trump needs reminding, Republican lawmakers let loose on Monday with a refresher: Russian Federation is not our friend.
The Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was also sharply critical. He has said he would raise the issue with Putin in their summit but has suggested it would be perfunctory.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also took issue with the president's approach.
"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", Ryan said.
"Everything that happens, all these investigations and so on - this is an internal affair of the United States", Peskov told the state-run broadcaster Russia Today. "The United States must be focused on holding Russian Federation accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy".
Despite clear interest in Russia in Putin's meeting with Trump, the summit wasn't the No. 1 item on many Russian newscasts or websites Monday: That honor went to the World Cup, and Russia's own global image. Trump ignored those warnings.
In one tweet, Hayden expressed agreement with an analysis that Trump believes Putin more than American intelligence agencies.
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On Sunday, Woods played the par-4 fourth hole by hitting a 7-iron off the tee to avoid well-positioned bunkers. That's just going to come with a little bit more experience and I think that I've made a few adjustments.
"Getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing, not a bad thing", Trump told Putin during a handshake photo opportunity at their summit in Helsinki.
Putin dismissed the idea during a post-summit news conference, though he did not explicitly deny it.
After sitting down with Putin, Trump said relations had warmed - and Putin agreed.
"That changed", Trump said, "As of about four hours ago".
Putin made Trump wait for him, arriving behind schedule in Helsinki as the two leaders attempted yet another reset of U.S-Russian relations.
On the topic of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, Trump said he "directly" addressed the issue with Putin, saying he felt it was "a message best delivered in person".
The summit will be the third time that both the leaders would meet face-to-face. The billboards were placed along the leaders' route to the summit. "I think it's a disgrace that we can't get Hillary Clinton's 33,000 emails".
Trump himself sounded sympathetic to the Russian position, saying: "I don't see any reason why Russia would interfere in the 2016 election".
"Our relationship has never been worse than it is now", Trump said as he stood alongside Putin at the summit's conclusion. I think it's kept us apart.
"What are you thinking?"
He added: "Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe", he continued.