Journalist bravely confronts Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

Saul Bowman
July 18, 2018

During the Russian-US summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed disagreement with US President Donald Trump's position that Crimea remains a part of Ukraine, the Russian leader said in a Fox News interview on Monday.

That came three days after the US Justice Department indicted 12 Russians for hacking Democratic Party computers, the latest in a series of actions taken by the US government since late 2016 in retribution for what intelligence agencies say was a broad plan to support Trump's election campaign directed by Putin himself.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday insisted that his country had no compromising material on US President Donald Trump.

He replied: "I hold both countries responsible. I think the United States has been foolish".

But any country that can spy does, and any country that can intervene in foreign elections does.

In a Fox News Channel interview after the summit, Putin pronounced the meetings "the beginning of the path" back from the West's past efforts to isolate Russian Federation.

"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.

Last week, the indictment of 12 Russian military officers in the hacking and leaking of Democratic party emails shed further light on Russian cyberattacks against the United States and attempts to sow discord among the American electorate.

But the BBC understands that U.S. officials have been able to verify one key claim Mr Steele made, that a Russian diplomat in Washington was in fact a spy.

Vladimir Putin gives Donald Trump a soccer ball during the joint press conference. He called the appointment of a special counsel on Russian interference and the involvement of United States persons in that effort, Robert Mueller III, a "disgrace" to the country and an impediment to his own efforts to improve ties with Russia.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today", he said.

Instead of being portrayed as a duel on the world stage, the summit was viewed in Russian Federation as a meeting of two powerful men who discussed global problems and then had to face down a crowd of pesky journalists.

Trump began the day by firing a Twitter broadside at his domestic opponents, blaming the diplomatic chill on the investigation into alleged Russian election meddling.

Trump couched the summit as a triumph of diplomacy, saying he was demonstrating statesmanship by agreeing to the meeting with Putin and savaging those who have expressed concern over its timing and what might have been on the table.

But the top Democrat in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, tweeted that many Americans can only wonder if "the only possible explanation for this unsafe behaviour is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump". Former CIA Director John Brennan, no liberal snowflake, called Trump's performance "nothing short of treasonous".

Senior Republican and Democratic politicians have strongly criticised Mr Trump's defence of Russian Federation in Helsinki.

He continued, saying: "In many respects, this became possible due to the fact that President Trump personally got involved in the resolution, building dialogue in the spirit of co-operation, not confrontation".

Trump's openness to the symbolic offer appeared to cede the high ground to Putin.

Mr Putin said the "so-called Russian interference" was brought up by Mr Trump.

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