A wide array of Republican and Democratic lawmakers condemned Trump's position, calling it embarrassing, a disgrace and shameful. Then the US president tossed the ball to his wife Melania, sitting in the front row. Trump played into the hands of the Russian rhetoric that NATO is weak, leaving US allies with the impression of "the USA being a non-dependable ally for NATO", Flake said.
The GOP senator's remarks make him one of the more critical voices among his party members on Monday's press conference.
"The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with worldwide partners, have detected Russian government actors targeting government and businesses in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors", Coats said at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington on Friday.
Mr Putin denied the claim.
Intelligence community, political experts criticize president’s comments at summit with Putin
You couldn't blame Putin if he took Trump's comments as an open door to meddle again in 2018 and 2020. US Senator Charles Schumer was also miffed by Trump's comments.
Trump also said that the Russian President was "a believer in Israel" and a strong supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Earlier on Monday, Schumer wondered "What could possibly cause President Trump to put the interests of Russian Federation over those of the United States?" and suggested it was possible "that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump".
"Well, I guess that settles it", Kimmel said, joking.
A Washington Post editorial headline said, "Trump just colluded with Russian Federation. But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today". And what he did is an incredible offer.
US House speaker Paul Ryan has hinted that Donald Trump will not be given an easy ride as he meets members of Congress later to discuss his comments on Russian Federation. "What did the Obama administration do that was tough?" So it was awesome and very, very disturbing, ' Clapper said Monday on CNN. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Trump's performance in Helsinki was a major setback in the fight against Russian interference in elections around the world. Sen. "We only saw what Mr. Trump said during the press conference".
"Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".