1. Trump Sides With Putin
Trump dismissed his own intelligence service’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, claiming that Putin “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial”.
The US President was asked if he trusted US intelligence, which has indicted 12 Russian agents for stealing Democratic Party documents to help him win the vote for Trump.
Trump said he had been told by his CIA chief that it was Russia which was responsible, but that he saw no reason to believe it.
“I don’t see any reason why it would be”, Trump said. “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
He went on to deride the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, calling it “a disaster for our country”, and renewed his oft-repeated claim that there was no evidence of “collusion”.
The recent CIA chief accused the President of treason.
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
2. ‘Both Countries Responsible’ For Rift
‘Both sides’ to blame again, this time for the chill in relations between the two countries.
“I hold both countries responsible,” Trump said during the news conference when asked whether he held Russia accountable for anything in particular in regard to poor relations between the countries.
“I think the United States has been foolish,” he said following a bilateral summit between the two leaders in Helsinki, Finland. “I think we’ve all been foolish. I think we’re all to blame.”
Anderson Cooper after presser: "You have been watching perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president..."— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 16, 2018
3. Putin Sides With Trump
The affection appeared mutual.
Did you want Donald Trump to win?— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) July 16, 2018
Putin: "Yes, I did."
Putin "I wanted Trump to win because he spoke about normalising Russian relations".— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) July 16, 2018
4. The Football
With the World Cup still on many people’s minds, Putin looked to exploit the PR triumph when in the company of the US President.
Putin pulled out a red-and-white commemorative football and thew it over to Trump standing at the podium next to him.
Trump said he’d give it to his 12-year-old son Barron, a football fan, and then proceeded to chuck the thing to the First Lady.
Putin 1, Trump 0.
5. The Hillary Clinton Obsession Continues
He won’t let it lie, repeatedly referring to the emails.
“The Democrats lost an election, which, frankly, they should have been able to win, because the Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans,” said Trump, returning to a recurring motif.
To be clear, this is not the case: Trump only won the presidential election in 2016 because of the Electoral College. He lost the popular vote to Clinton by nearly 2.9 million votes.
“I beat Hillary Clinton easily and frankly we beat her,” he said. “We won that race and it’s a shame that there can even be a little bit of a cloud over it.”
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: "I beat Hillary Clinton easily" lies Trump when despite Russian help he lost by 3m votes(Her 66m Him 63m) but Trumped Clinton in an Electoral College weighted in favour of less populous Right-wing states— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) July 16, 2018
6. The Pee Tape Question
Putin did not deny that the Russian government may have “compromising material” about Trump and his family.
Asked about the salacious claims, Putin acknowledged the “rumours” before evading the question.
“It’s difficult to imagine nonsense of a bigger scale than this,” Putin said, according to a translator.
“Well, please, just disregard this issues [sic], and don’t think about this anymore again.”
Among the rumours is the infamous ‘pee tape’, a purported recording that supposedly contains footage of Trump and urinating prostitutes at a Moscow hotel in 2013, when the then-reality television star and ‘Miss Universe’ owner was there for that year’s pageant hosted in Moscow.
7. The ‘Interesting Idea’
Not only was Putin “extremely strong and powerful in his denial” of meddling in the election, he also had an “interesting idea” about how to tackle it.
Sounds like another win for the Russian President.
Trump: Putin has “an interesting idea” about who’s behind interference in US election.— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 16, 2018
Trump said he addressed “directly” Russian election interference. He reports Putin feels strongly & has an “interesting idea.” Speechless, but moving on, the idea is likely the joint cyber command Putin raised. It would be a coup for Russia & total abdication of US interests.— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) July 16, 2018
8. Putin’s Offer To The FBI
Putin said he will “look into” the FBI indictment and brought up a treaty between the two countries on dealing with criminal cases.
“We can offer that the appropriate commission headed by special attorney Mueller, he can use this treaty as a solid foundation and send a formal, an official request to us so that we would interrogate, hold the questioning of these individuals whom he believes are privy to some crimes,” Putin said, adding he’d even allow Mueller’s team to come to Russia to be present for the questioning.
Undersold: Putin offered to let Mueller interview indicted Russian officials -- IF the U.S. allows Russia to interview U.S. intel and law enforcement officials accused of crimes in Russia.— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) July 16, 2018
Trump called it an "incredible offer." pic.twitter.com/mFDbj9pUnO
9. The Protest
A man was forcibly removed before the start of the press conference.
Reporters at the press conference said the man was Sam Husseini, whom The Nation said had received press accreditation from the outlet to cover the summit.