Donald Trump denies collusion, says Russian Federation probe 'a disaster' for US

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich issued a rebuke of Donald Trump on Monday following the President's controversial joint press conference alongside Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Trump, speaking in Helsinki after his first summit with Putin, said he saw no reason to believe his own country's intelligence agencies over the Kremlin leader's assurances that Russian Federation did not interfere in the U.S. election.

While taking questions from reporters in Finland on Monday, Trump repeatedly expressed doubts that Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 presidential election despite numerous indictments made by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and near unanimous opinion of the USA intelligence community.

Taking direct issue with the president who appointed him, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said USA spy agencies have been "clear" and "fact-based" in their assessment that Moscow interfered in the presidential race two years ago - an assessment that Trump refused to endorse in Helsinki.

Coats responded hours after Trump, standing alongside Putin in Helsinki, said that "my people" including Coats, "came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation".

In some of the harshest criticism yet from members of Trump's party, the veteran lawmaker - a strong critic of the president - said the Helsinki summit was a "tragic mistake" in which Trump was "not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin".

Putin "just said it is not Russian Federation". As for USA troops in Syria, says Trump, they will be coming out after ISIS is crushed, and we are 98 percent there.

The Justice Department on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking Democratic computers as part of a broad subterfuge operation to help Trump win the election.

Looking back over the week, from Brussels to Britain to Helsinki, Trump's message has been clear, consistent and startling.

Fellow GOP politicians have generally stuck with Trump during a year and a half of turmoil, but he was assailed as seldom before as he returned home Monday night from what he had hoped would be a proud summit with Putin.

At the joint appearance in Finland with Putin, Trump repeated the Russian leader's denials about involvement in the election.

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At a press conference following the summit, Trump praised their "direct, open and deeply productive dialogue" and emphasised the need for continued diplomacy over confrontation. "Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe", the POTUS tells CBS News. "I've been here not too long, but it's getting close to two years, but I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship".

"My first reaction was, wow, I've really gotten underneath Vladimir Putin's skin", Browder said during an interview on FOX Business' "Making Money with Charles Payne" on Monday.

The president said that although he believes U.S.

Senior Republican Senator John McCain called the joint press conference "disgraceful" and a "low point" for the United States presidency.

Both before and after the Trump-Putin meeting, the cable news coverage was as hostile and hateful toward the president as any this writer has ever seen.

Trump stunned United States political allies and foes alike with his answer to a question about Russian hacking and interference in the 2016 election which saw him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The witch hunt he refers to is the allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential elections which put Mr Trump in office.

The US and Russian leaders came out of their meeting in Helsinki expressing a desire to cooperate on global challenges, after talks on an array of issues from Syria, Ukraine and China to trade tariffs and the size of their nuclear arsenals.

CBS' Margaret Brennan said she was messaging some US officials during the speech who said they were turning off the television.

Putin looked serious but smirked when journalists asked Trump about Russian meddling in the United States presidential campaign.

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