Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Anderson Cooper Slams Trump-Putin Presser as ‘Disgraceful’

Anderson Cooper Slams Trump-Putin Presser as ‘Disgraceful’

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the press after a two-hour meeting.

The US president said that the bilateral meetings had gotten off to a "very good start", after both leaders met for more than two hours behind closed doors, with only translators present.

Following President Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump's opponents at home blasted his handling of the meeting.

Before the presidents sat down for the luncheon, they posed for a photo with Trump's wife, United States first lady Melania Trump.

The president has repeatedly said the investigation into Russian election meddling is a "rigged witch hunt" that makes it hard for him to do substantive deals with Moscow.

The meeting comes just days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were charged by a USA federal grand jury for hacking the Democrats ahead of the 2016 election. "But the journalists think it's all about them, which is what tells me that many of them, 'cause I think they still to this day get up every day hoping. this day is gonna be the day that whatever smoking gun evidence is out there is finally revealed that will allow them to get rid of Donald Trump".

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded by tweet: "We agree".

Putin arrived late to his first bilateral summit with Trump.

For those hoping the USA president would refrain from making unwarranted concessions to Vladimir Putin, the omens were not good.

The Helsinki meeting comes less than a week after the Justice Department announced the indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officials for allegedly engaging in a "sustained effort" to hack Democrats' emails and computer networks during the 2016 election campaign.

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appealed to both Mr Trump and Mr Putin to eliminate the Iranian presence, which the Jewish state regards as an existential threat.

Schumer stated on Twitter that "In the entire history of our country, Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an American adversary the way (Trump) has supported President Putin".

Trade, military issues, and China are among some of the many topics the two will discuss, Trump said during opening remarks. "There are enough of those that we need to pay attention to". USA reporters at a joint press conference after the meeting are sure to pepper the pair with questions about the Kremlin's election interference, and whether and how Trump addressed the issue with Putin.

Trump's decision to side with Putin left a wake of confusion and outrage in the US. That includes Russia's military incursions into Ukraine and Syria, the Iranian presence in Syria, Russian hostility toward USA allies, and renewing global arms control treaties.

Then he blamed Obama: "President Obama, he was the president for eight years".

"This was not the plan", a USA official directly involved in planning the Helsinki summit between the leaders told CNN.

Trump has always been at odds with his own intelligence community, largely clashing over a report released by USA intelligence officials concluding that Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

"I hadn't thought of that", Trump said.

Mr Putin added that other issues that Russian Federation would like to discuss in the arms control sphere are the USA missile defence plans and the weaponisation of space.

Israel is deeply concerned about Iran's presence in Syria, where Iranian forces and proxies have been fighting on behalf of the Syrian government, which is also supported by Russian Federation.

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