Trump sides with Putin at stunning post-summit press conference

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Trump appeared to place blame on the Democratic National Committee for the hacking attack that has been linked to Russian Federation: "I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked".

Republican Senator Lyndsay Graham said Trump's performance would send a message of "weakness" to Moscow. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade".

Speaking on the BBC, she said: "He told me I should sue the European Union - not go into negotiations".

After complaining about USA missile defense plans as a major threat to Russia, Putin in March unveiled an array of new weapons he said would render the US missile shield useless, including a hypersonic intercontinental strike vehicle and a long-range nuclear-powered underwater drone armed with an atomic weapon. But that doesn't mean they are bad.

On a day when he faced pressure from critics, allied countries and even his own staff to take a tough line, Trump said not a single critical word about Moscow on any of the issues that have brought relations between the two powers to the lowest ebb since the Cold War.

"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse", Mr Trump tweeted on Monday morning, blaming "many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" They met previously on the sidelines of global gatherings in Germany and Vietnam.

Trump, who arrived in Helsinki on Sunday night, tweeted his "Congratulations to President Putin and Russian Federation for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament - one of the best ever". "It means that they are competitive".

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said he was anxious about Trump being alone in the room with Putin, without his national-security aides. "I think it's ridiculous". "Our mutual friend president Xi". "That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisers makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable".

Trump spent the weekend in Scotland at his resort in Turnberry, golfing, tweeting and granting an interview to CBS News in which he named the European Union, a bloc of nations that includes many of America's closest allies, at the top of his list of biggest global foes. "Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news".

Trump has been reluctant to criticize Putin over the years and has described him in recent days not as an enemy but as a competitor. He has pointed to his efforts to boost US oil exports and increase military spending as measures that would not win any points with Putin.

The Russian foreign ministry "liked" Trump's comments on Twitter, in which Trump denounced the investigation into Russian meddling in American elections as well as previous United States policy. "But certainly, I'll be asking about it."18 YEARS VS 18 MONTHSWhen Trump meets Putin, he will sit down with a disciplined, detail-oriented and experienced Russian leader who has been on the world stage for more than 18 years, in contrast to 18 months in office for Trump". "We have been far tougher on Russian Federation than anybody". Trump seemed to return the favor by waiting until Putin had arrived at the palace before leaving his hotel. Russian Federation was suspended from the group in 2014 in response to its illegal annexation of Crimea.

When CBS News host Jeff Glor asked him to identify his "biggest foe globally right now", Trump said the European Union, as well as Russian Federation "in certain respects" and China "economically".

Aides had warned before the meeting that it might not produce big "deliverables".

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the upper house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, wrote in Izvestia that Monday's talks come at a time when "so-called "peace-loving" Europe is afraid of peace talks between US and Russian Federation". "The fact that we're having a summit at this level, at this time in history, is a deliverable in itself", he said.

"No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus", she tweeted.

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