Trump says meeting with Putin 'even better' than with NATO

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin meet in Helsinki promise fresh start for troubled US-Russia ties

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a cautious Trump supporter, said, "The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is standing firm in his condemnation of Vladimir Putin despite U.S. President Donald Trump's warm words for the Russian president this week.

The top Republican in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan, said Mr Trump must see that "Russia is not our ally".

He said, "Don't make the relationship between Russian Federation and the United States, don't hold it hostage of this internal political struggle".

Putin and Trump held their first full-fledged meeting in Finland's capital of Helsinki on Monday.

Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential nominee, said Trump had acted against America's democratic principles.

Analyst Pavel Felgengauer said Putin "won" the summit, but at the possible cost of stability in Russia's neighbourhood and the Middle East. "I hope those that voted for Mr. Trump in good conscience will see he's leading us down a very unsafe path".

At the news conference Monday, a reporter for The Associated Press asked Putin directly if he had incriminating material on President Trump.

How did it play at home?

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin meet in Helsinki promise fresh start for troubled US-Russia ties

"A moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation not only defies reason and history, it undermines our national integrity and impairs our global credibility". "As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people, ' " Trump wrote.

Former CIA Director John O. Brennan tweeted that Trump's behavior exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors.

After his electoral victory, which caught even Trump by surprise, the president reluctantly acknowledged Russian meddling in the election - the unanimous consensus of the intelligence community - while in the same breath suggesting other countries could be responsible.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Mike Pence defended the summit and praised President Trump.

Just days before the Helsinki summit, the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking into Democrat email accounts and releasing stolen information during the election. "And we get along in Syria too", he concluded of the US-Russia relationship. According to the analyst, Russian Federation considers guarantees of Ukraine's neutrality as a basis for talks.

"President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin", McCain said.

"It's the internal political games of the United States".

And Mr Putin accused the United Kingdom of making "ungrounded accusations" against Moscow over the recent poisoning of ex-Soviet spy Sergei Skripal and three other people with the "novichok" nerve agent.

"What we're all anxious about coming out of this summit is that Putin is going to feel emboldened", Hampson said. But nobody gives it to us. "The damage inflicted by President Trump's naivete, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate", McCain said in a blistering statement. "Something very strong", Trump said of the summit, which was largely expected to discuss the conflict in Syria, and Israel's security in light of the presence of Iranian militias in the country allied to the Syrian regime.

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