Colbert says Trump's meeting with Putin should count as 'treason'

Colbert says Trump's meeting with Putin should count as 'treason'

Colbert says Trump's meeting with Putin should count as 'treason'

Russian officials say Putin is expected to reiterate denials of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Trump was asked by a journalist to comment on the Nord Stream 2 project.

Trump's performance at a joint news conference with Putin in Helsinki stirred a wave of condemnation in the United States, including criticism from within his own Republican Party.

"If Trump's spineless toadying to Putin made you think, 'What's Vlad got on him?' you're not the only one", Colbert said. "I really believe that", Trump said, vowing the summit was "only the beginning".

Friday's United States indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents exploded with embarrassing timing for Trump as he prepared to meet Putin.

House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in to say there was "no question" Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election and "no moral equivalence" between the United States and Russian Federation.

Vladimir Putin gives Donald Trump a soccer ball during the joint press conference.

Wallace read Putin a portion of the indictment handed down by a federal grand jury last week in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that accused 12 Russian intelligence officers of breaking into Democratic computer systems and stealing emails and documents. After making statements and ignoring shouted questions about election meddling, Trump and Putin shook hands, and with that, the press pool was ushered out.

When asked whom he believes, US intelligence agencies or Putin, Trump responded: "So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

He also said the two countries should be "very careful" on nuclear weapons. "We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security", Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence said.

Mr Trump, when asked about a Russian gas pipeline to Germany, noted that the U.S. and Russia compete in the energy market.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama, called Trump's words "nothing short of treasonous".

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The Kremlin said no joint summit statement was planned but the presidents would give a news conference after their meeting. But others say it was important to send a message — even if it never reaches Trump himself.

Putin denied the notion that Russian spy bosses may hold compromising information on Trump, who in his previous business career oversaw the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.

Hermitage Capital CEO Bill Browder fired back at Russian President Vladimir Putin, who claimed the financier's associates dodged tax payments.

If that mad scramble was a frenzied view of U.S. -Russia relations, the two leaders took a more relaxed approach in their first encounter.

The two leaders appeared relaxed at the news conference, smiling on occasion, in contrast to their sombre demeanour at the start of the day.

A White House official told The Washington Post that they had prepared for Trump to publicly "push" Putin and make himself "look good" in the process.

If the Russian press agreed with outsiders on one thing, it's that Putin was the victor. And it came at the end of an extraordinary trip to Europe in which Trump had already berated allies, questioned the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and demeaned leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel and Britain's Theresa May.

Even if Trump were thinking only in terms of his own political survival - his usual mode - he would be tougher on Putin, because he must realise that kowtowing to the Russian only strengthens suspicions of collusion.

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

Mr Trump told the press conference that the USA and Russian Federation must find ways to "co-operate in pursuit of shared interests". In Ukraine, US policy remains opposed to Russia's intervention in the country's east and the annexation of Crimea.

The highly anticipated summit between president donald trump and russian president vladimir putin began with a meeting in helsinki, finland's ornate gothic hall.

"There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals", he said.

"I'm thinking that maybe the most patriotic thing we can do right now, is not point out the alarming behavior of our president, which could be divisive".

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