'Russia is not our friend': Arkansas lawmakers comment on Trump-Putin meeting

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In a news conference after meeting Vladimir Putin on Monday, Mr Trump also appeared to accept the Russian president's word over that of his own intelligence agencies regarding alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election.

During a joint news conference with Putin after their private meeting, Trump hedged on whether he agrees with the USA intelligence community on its conclusion that the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election.

We saw Trump - one day after National Security Adviser John Bolton said "we're quite concerned" Russian Federation would interfere in a future USA election - say that he didn't see "any reason why" Russian Federation meddled in 2016.

One of the topics was Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Putin said, and reiterated that Russian Federation never intervened and would never interfere.

Trump, on the other hand, praised Putin, saying, "I thought that President Putin was very strong".

"We all know that Vladimir Putin is holding something over Donald Trump", he said.

Trump's Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said he gives the president the best information on issues such as foreign interference and meddling.

President Donald Trump went straight from a controversial press conference with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin to an interview with Sean Hannity where he said he wouldn't allow a phony investigation to keep him from advancing their relationship.

But he says President Trump should not have confronted Putin on election interference, and the president also denied it entirely. In a statement, McCaskill - the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee - said Trump's comments at the press conference "fly in the face" of the findings of USA intelligence agencies and Congress. "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", he said.

President Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin received mostly negative reviews from Arizona representatives.

Coats added that Russian Federation remains behind "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

We saw our president taking the side of Putin over the consensus of our country's intelligence agencies.

Brennan had previously called Mr. Trump's press conference remarks "nothing short of treasonous".

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey called Trump's conduct "dangerous and reckless", while U.S. Sen.

He tweeted: "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin".

"I think, realistically, he was thinking what's the right thing to do globally".

Democrats sounded similar alarm. Sen.

The news conference of the two presidents was held after the talks and the working lunch of USA and Russian delegations in Helsinki, Finnish state television reported.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Mr Trump had given Mr Putin "a green light to interfere in 2018".

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