'Putin's poodle': newspapers declare Trump a traitor after Helsinki summit

GOP lawmaker Trump is 'getting played by' a former KGB agent

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Having served on active duty, I feel nauseous thinking about Trump's statements.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called it "bizarre" and "flat-out wrong" for Trump to suggest that both the US and Russian Federation are to blame for the deteriorated state of the two countries' relationship.

"We don't have anything on them", Putin said.

"Anyone who just believes President Putin given his record is someone who you could probably sell the Brooklyn Bridge to", Provizer said.

CNN's Anderson Cooper declared that the press conference was "perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader that I have ever seen".

Mr Trump's performance has created a political storm in the USA, where the White House has struggled for months to dispel a suggestion that the president was unwilling to stand up to Mr Putin.

The war hero and former Republican presidential nominee said Trump "failed to defend all that makes us who we are - a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and overseas".

Standing alongside Putin, Trump steered clear of any confrontation with the Russian, going so far as to question American intelligence and last week's federal indictments that accused 12 Russians of hacking into Democratic email accounts to hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016. To Russia hawks, even consideration of the proposal pointed to the success of Putin's efforts to shake the foundations of American democracy.

Mr Trump's warm words for Russian Federation were a marked contrast from the past week when he repeatedly rebuked traditional U.S. allies at a summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and during a visit to Britain. Russian Federation had just wrapped up hosting the 2018 World Cup.

A wave of condemnation immediately followed, with lawmakers calling Republican Trump "weak" and "cowardly", while Senator John McCain said the summit was "a tragic mistake".

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Graham was careful to note he did not believe there was any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation but was clear he believed election interference did occur.

Yet Trump appeared to take Putin's word in dismissing that conclusion.

On his way home, Trump insisted in a post on Twitter that he has "GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people". Trump attacked Mueller at the press conference when he said, "the probe is a disaster for our country". "I think we've all been foolish.I think we're all to blame".

Speaking in the Finnish capital, Trump acknowledged that top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTrump stuns the world at Putin summit Trump: "Phony witch hunt" drove wedge between US, Russia Press: Whose side is Trump on?

Senator Tom Cotton released a statement, saying the reason the relationship between the United States and Russian Federation "remains at a historic low" is that "Vladimir Putin is a committed adversary of the United States".

Trump did have one prominent defender: Senator Rand Paul, who vied with Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump, bent on forging a personal bond with the Kremlin chief despite the election allegations, went into the summit blaming the "stupidity" of his predecessors for plunging ties to their present low.

Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican who serves on both the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, said nothing he heard changed his views.

Trump called Putin earlier this year to congratulate him on his unprecedented fourth term as Russian president, despite criticism from both Democrats and Republicans that the Russian leader's electoral victory was through means less than fair.

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