Intelligence community, political experts criticize president’s comments at summit with Putin

Paul Ryan ‘No question’ Russians meddled in 2016 U.S. election	 	 	 			Sen. Ron Johnson Speaker Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan ‘No question’ Russians meddled in 2016 U.S. election Sen. Ron Johnson Speaker Paul Ryan

Speaking in the Finnish capital, Trump acknowledged that top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTrump stuns the world at Putin summit Trump: "Phony witch hunt" drove wedge between US, Russia Press: Whose side is Trump on?

The Helsinki sit down between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is not getting high marks from members of the South Florida congressional delegation.

"It was a different type of meeting compared to like the North Korea summit", DeSantis said. I felt this was a message best delivered in person.

At the press conference that even Republicans are blasting, Trump also said he had confidence in his intelligence people but that Putin was "extremely strong and powerful" in his denial today. This just days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian agents for hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign in an attempt to help Trump.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy was blunter: "This entire trip has just been one giant middle finger from President Trump to his own country".

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, a Republican and a Trump appointee, in an unusual statement responding to Trump's remarks, stood by the USA agencies.

He added, "Our relationship has never been worse than it is now".

"We are starting to achieve some understanding", Putin, 65, said.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats delivers remarks on October 13, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

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"Why wouldn't special counsel Mueller send us an official request within the framework of this agreement?"

"Our law enforcement is perfectly able to do this questioning and send the appropriatematerials to the United States", he said.

US Senator Charles Schumer was also miffed by Trump's comments.

Richard Lugar, a former Republican senator from IN, said Coats should "just keep his head down and do his duty" because his experience is too valuable to lose.

"The damage inflicted by President Trumps naivete, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate".

You couldn't blame Putin if he took Trump's comments as an open door to meddle again in 2018 and 2020. The damage caused, McCain said, is hard to estimate.

Rather than staying quiet, Coats opted to issue a strongly worded statement backing the intelligence assessment that Russian Federation did, in fact, interfere in the election.

"There is no moral equivalent between the United States and Russian Federation, which is hostile to our core values and ideals".

In Helsinki on Monday (July 16), standing alongside Mr Putin, he said he did not see any reason why Russian Federation would interfere in the election. Mark Warner of Virginia, the committee's ranking Democrat.

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