Trump returns from summit to a barrage of criticism at home

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Coats faced "a choice" after Trump issued a stunning rebuke of the United States intelligence community, saying he doesn't "see any reason why" Russian Federation would be responsible for interfering in the 2016 election - touting Putin's vigorous denial then pivoting to complaints about the Democratic National Committee's server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton's personal account. But he proceeded to undermine even that token acknowledgement of reality when he answered a reporter's question about whether he believed the us intelligence community's conclusion or Putin's denials.

Standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Trump failed to support his own government's unequivocal assessment that Russian military and intelligence agents mounted a cyberattack against the USA throughout the election of 2016 - an elaborate effort to sabotage America's democracy. "I'm pretty sure President Trump has plenty of political rivals", Putin said.

"However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future", he added, "we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"

Politicians from both major parties and former intelligence officials appeared shocked, dismayed and uneasy with Mr Trump's suggestion he believes Mr Putin's denial of interfering in the 2016 elections.

"He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people", Trump told reporters during a news conference in Helsinki following his joint summit with Putin.

President Trump said that Putin told him it was s shame that the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller was driving a wedge between the USA and Russian Federation, and the president agreed. At the press conference following the meeting, Trump declined to support the intelligence community's findings that Russian Federation had meddled in the 2016 presidential election on the basis of Putin's denial.

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We saw our president once again malign the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department for investigating Russian interference in our 2016 election, then decline to object when Putin denied his country's involvement.

"Trump is a larger man and he is bigger but when you look at Putin and watch him, you think of the old saying, 'Dynamite comes in small packages,"' she said.

Said Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona: "I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression".

Asked if Putin was an adversary, he said: "Actually I called him a competitor and a good competitor he is and I think the word competitor is a compliment".

"We don't have anything on them, and there can't be anything on them", Putin said.

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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The US president added: "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics".

The document which Mr Putin so brazenly ignored was released on the eve of today's mega-meeting and it claims that twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Party.

"Yes I do. I hold both countries responsible. That's the important point that I'm trying to make", Putin said.

"I think this is the beginning of the path".

"It was a clean campaign, I beat Hillary Clinton easily and frankly ... we won that race and it's a shame there could be a little cloud over it", he said.

"Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of "high crimes & misdemeanours".

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Trump's warm words for Russian Federation were a marked contrast from the past week, when he repeatedly rebuked long-standing United States allies at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and during a visit to Britain. Mr Putin said. "This is utterly ridiculous".

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