Trump Calls Mueller Probe ‘Disaster’ While Standing Next to Putin

Anderson Cooper

Already contentious, the Trump-Putin meeting comes just days after the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced on Friday the indictment of twelve Russian military officers, charging them with directly taking part in an the alleged effort by the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 USA presidential elections.

The summit started late because Mr Putin arrived in Helsinki about a half hour behind schedule in another display of the Russian's leader famous lack of punctuality.

The Russian leader glanced at his counterpart and nodded at times; at other moments Putin appeared to look to the floor as he listened to his translator.

"I really think the world wants to see us get along", Trump said.

Shortly after they entered the room and took their chairs, Trump gave Putin a quick wink as the sounds of camera shutters filled the room.

Putin dismissed as "ridiculous" claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

It was a remarkable break with United States intelligence officials and the Justice Department.

Bent on forging a personal bond with the Kremlin chief, Trump headed into the summit blaming the "stupidity" of his predecessors for plunging ties to their present low.

"Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

"This is shameful", said Senator Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted that it was a 'bad day for the USA'. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

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In an interview set to air on "Special Report", Wallace pressed the Russian president about his summit with President Donald Trump, the hacking of the 2016 election and other contentious issues like NATO, Syria and Ukraine.

"I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, Trump said.

The president admitted that the United States and Russian Federation have "not been getting along very well for the last number of years". After Trump concluded his remarks, American reporters shouted several questions about whether he would bring up election meddling during his discussions with Putin.

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", Ryan said, adding Moscow "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals".

Much of the Republican rebuke came from lawmakers who have been willing to openly criticize the president, a group that remains a minority in the GOP.

Instead, most of the squirming is being done not by the Russian leader, but by Republicans in Congress, by the American intelligence community and by overseas allies.

"I know President Obama said global warming is our biggest problem, and I would say that no, it's nuclear warming is our biggest problem by a factor of about five million", Trump said.

'We need our Republican colleagues to stand up for the good of this country, ' he said.

But there are concrete objectives that Trump could seek during his talks with the Russian leader - and foreign policy experts and US lawmakers spent much of the weekend signaling to Trump to use the opportunity to press Putin on 2016 election interference efforts outlined by USA intelligence officials and federal prosecutors and more, without giving away too much to Putin.

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