Republican Rep. Justin Amash tweeted of the press conference that someone can be in favor of improved relations with Russian Federation and with Trump meeting Putin "and still think something is not right here". Several prominent Republicans expressed disappointment with the president's performance.
Trump informed reporters at a news conference in Finland's presidential palace that he spent a "great deal of time" addressing the Russian meddling issue.
The aftermath was a reminder of Trump's singular, political positioning. After a year and a half in power, Trump still alienates both his party and some in his own government.
Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, said it was "bizarre and flat-out wrong" for Trump to say both the United States and Russian Federation were responsible for the deteriorating relationship between the former Cold War rivals.
Will Russia extradite the 12 Russians Mueller accused Friday of hacking?
"I really think the world wants to see us get along", Trump said.More news: Mueller Asks Manafort Judge to Give Immunity to 5 Witnesses
Yet while Trump's remarks drew criticism in both parties, the reaction was more muted from the Republican side.
Trump's comments Monday offered insight into why he's so reluctant to acknowledge Moscow's role. I've been asking that for months and months, and I've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. For the president, it seems any conversation about foreign meddling is an attack on his claim to the office.
The news conference also rattled some officials in the State and Defense Departments and in USA intelligence agencies, according to officials in five government offices. "Everybody knows it", Trump said, answering a question from Reuters. -Russian relations on "many years of US foolishness and stupidity". The most peculiar aspect of Trump's behavior, as Isaac Chotiner of Slate suggests, is his deference to Putin.
Russian Federation has used election meddling before to undermine public confidence in democratically elected governments.
"They said they think it's Russia", Mr. Trump said, explaining that while USA intelligence agencies say Russia meddled, Putin told Trump directly that Russia did not. "President Putin says it's not Russian Federation".
Then came the joint news conference.More news: This C-SPAN caller thinks Russian Federation meddled, and she's glad about it
Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the Senate called Trump's appearance of siding with Putin over the allegations of election interference "dangerous and weak".
Trump is being strongly criticized for his uncritical approach to Russian Federation.
"Any statement by Vladimir Putin contrary to these facts is a lie and should be recognized as one by the President". The U.S. intelligence community has insisted repeatedly that the Kremlin interfered.
The day began with a breakfast with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, at which Trump predicted "we'll do just fine" at his bilateral meeting with Putin.
"As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining worldwide security", he said.
"Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections", he said. "President Trump missed opportunity to hold Putin publicly accountable". He said USA officials could request to be present at such questioning in line with a 1999 agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal cases.More news: Facebook brings in Google chip developer
The White House said the one-on-one sit-down lasted for about two hours before the meetings opened up to a working lunch with the Russian delegation and U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and National Security Council Director of Russian Affairs Fiona Hill. Then the US president tossed the ball to his wife, Melania, sitting in the front row.