Trump faced swift and sweeping condemnation following his 45-minute joint press conference with the Russian president in Helsinki on Monday.
The White House has struggled to explain why Trump aligned so closely with Putin, and lawmakers in both major parties appeared shocked and dismayed with his suggestion that he believes Putin’s denial of interfering in the 2016 elections.
It prompted one of Trump’s own senior political appointees, who works on Russian issues, to speak out saying they had ‘little to no good expectations’ for the summit.
Donald Trump’s first summit with Vladimir Putin left him looking ‘incredibly weak’ in comparison to his Russian counterpart, according to one of the US president’s own appointees
‘Trump looked incredibly weak up there. Putin looks like a champion,’ the official told The Daily Beast.
‘I’d like to say I’m shocked but this is the world in which we live now.’
Trump’s decision to side with Putin left a wake of confusion and outrage in the US.
Lawmakers in both major parties and former intelligence officials appeared shocked, dismayed and uneasy with Trump’s suggestion that he believes Putin’s denial of interfering in the 2016 elections.
It was a remarkable break with US intelligence officials and the Justice Department. And just as alarming for some, Trump also put the two countries on the same footing when casting blame for their strained relations.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called it ‘one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory’.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called it ‘bizarre’, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., called it ‘shameful’ and Sen. Lindsey Grah