I have President Putin. He said only: "We'll do just fine". And he can play any role, he can be friendly, he can mean, he can be all sorts of things in order to get what he wants and what he wants is agreement from the other guy, so that I think the news conference will be fascinating. "I had to repeat what I've said before, that the Russian state has never interfered and has no intention to interfere".
McFaul called the president's remarks "really disappointing". "Russia and the United States will work jointly (in this regard)". "The United States must be focused on holding Russian Federation accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy". Many viewed Trump as sucking up to Putin, a shocking thing to see an American president do. Trump ignored those warnings.
For the next hour-and-a-half, Trump and Putin are scheduled to hold one-on-one discussions, with only interpreters at their side.
The 29-page indictment lays out how, months before Americans voted in November 2016, Russians schemed to break into key Democratic email accounts, including those belonging to Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
He asked whether Trump "with the whole world watching" would "denounce" Russia's actions and warn Putin to never do it again.
Their denials are consistent with their previous statements on the issue, with Trump saying in the past that he accepted Putin's denial of involvement.
"Please get this rubbish out of your heads".
Trump also dismissed the idea in his interview with Hannity, adding, "If they had it, it would have been out".
"That changed", Trump said, "As of about four hours ago".
Many Democratic lawmakers voiced opposition to Trump's summit with Putin following the special counsel indictments, but the president said before the meeting that "getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing, not a bad thing".
Yet after the bad-tempered North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and Trump's trip to Britain, anxious European leaders will have been relieved if not much came out of the Helsinki meeting.
Both leaders met briefly for a press photo op and spoke with the press prior to starting the meeting.
Trump did mention trade, China, nuclear arms reduction and other security matters as ones he meant to discuss first in the one-on-one session then in another meeting that will include staff from both sides. "I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that frankly we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years".
Thanks, in significant part to the presidency of Donald Trump, Putin has already achieved (or had handed to him) most of the big foreign policy goals he set for himself when he successfully won a six-year term earlier this year, Hayes said. I think the US has been foolish. "Russia is foe in certain respects". Even the real-time criticism from Republicans made it clear that the meeting in Helsinki could be a seminal moment of this presidency. It's not a good look for the man who claims to put America First. "We've had a phony witch hunt deal drive us apart", he said.
The summit, which was being closely monitored by rattled world capitals, was condemned in advance by members of the US Congress from both parties after the US indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election.
The release further brought attention to current threats to press freedom, noting that whereas Finland appears fourth in the Reporters Without Border World Press Freedom Index, the US and Russian Federation place 45th and 148th out of 180, respectively.
Even staunch Trump backer Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, called Trump's comments "the most serious mistake of his presidency" and said they "must be corrected - immediately". Russian Federation was suspended from the group in 2014 in response to its illegal annexation of Crimea. Some top lawmakers said Mr. Trump's unwillingness to blame Russian Federation for election meddling only confirmed their suspicions that Moscow has compromising information on the president.