Published: 2018-07-17 12:35
Last Updated: 2018-07-17 15:24
US President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had a one-on-one meeting during an extraordinary summit in Helsinki, Finland on Tuesday. The 90-minute meeting discussed the bilateral ties between the two countries, US election meddling, oil pipelines, Syria, Crimea and nuclear power, CNN reported.
Following a working lunch, the two leaders held a press conference, where Trump said that unlike US intelligence, he doesn’t "see any reason why" Russia would have meddled with the US presidential elections. Putin also denied Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.
John McCain, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, and a former Republican presidential nominee, said of the summit:
“The press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naivety, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.
During the presser, Putin also handed Trump a soccer ball as a ceremonial gift. Trump congratulated his Russian counterpart on the successful hosting of the World Cup. Eager to take credit, Trump claimed that “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed as of about four hours ago.”