Standing side-by-side with Mr Putin, Mr Trump yesterday refused to blame the Russian leader for meddling in the U.S. 2016 election, casting doubt on the findings of his own intelligence agencies and sparking a storm of criticism at home.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) sounded a similar note, saying of Trump's behavior: "It's inexplicable - or maybe it's not".
"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant".
By "the past", he presumably is referencing 2016 when, Trump's intel leaders all have agreed, Russian Federation interfered with the USA presidential election. "We must not tolerate efforts by Russian Federation or other actors that disrupt our democracy or undermine our interests around the globe".
The president's performance came at a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, following a summit between both leaders.
It was disgraceful. It was a betrayal, not only of our intelligence agencies but of everyone who has fought against the threat that Russian Federation poses to the United States and its allies. "Absolutely I'm with the president on this; the (US) intelligence community was full of biased people", Republican Senator Rand Paul told CNN.
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A US Secret Service agent who suffered a stroke during President Trump's visit to Scotland has died. Trump also added , "Melania and I are deeply grateful for his lifetime of devotion".
The special counsel investigating potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin charged a dozen Russian military intelligence officers on Friday with hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign and then releasing the stolen communications online as part of a sweeping conspiracy to meddle in the election.
In a tweet soon after the press conference, Trump appeared to walk back his assertion slightly. "But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today". "I think we really had a potential problem".
"The president's comments in Helsinki were deeply alarming", said Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo.
"It is past time for the president to accept the conclusions of his own administration's intelligence experts and act swiftly to prevent Russia's continued efforts to undermine our elections", she said. "There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals", said Ryan in a statement.
Asked on the Miranda Live program on Tuesday whether Mr Trump was a traitor, Mr Turnbull said: "Of course not".
However, before the summit began, Mr Trump blamed his own country for the deterioration in relations.
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"What the president said today is not accurate", he said.
The language used by Democrats was much harsher, including accusations of "treason".
The president said the summit was a first step building a bridge between the United States and Russian Federation.
Democratic California Representative Jimmy Gomez charged: "To side with Putin over U.S. intelligence is disgusting; to fail to defend the United States is on the verge of treason".
Trump has always been at odds with his own intelligence community, largely clashing over a report released by US intelligence officials concluding that Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
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