Monday's firestorm erupted when Trump, standing side by side with Putin in Helsinki, refused to publicly condemn - or say he believes - the US assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.
Having denied Russian interference in the election and the possibility that the Russian government may have blackmail on Mr. Trump, Putin said that the USA and Russia are "starting to achieve some understanding" between each other.
Most troubling was when Trump effectively endorsed Putin's denial that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election, contradicting not only Republican-controlled congressional committees, but even Trump's own national security adviser and director of national intelligence. "I don't want to insult President Trump when I say this - and I may come as rude - but before he announced that he will run for presidency, he was of no interest for us".
"President Putin, he just said it's not Russia", Trump said.
Trump's top national security officials, Democrats and most Republicans in Congress say USA intelligence agencies got it right in finding that Russians secretly tried to sway the election. I will say this: "I don't see any reason why it would be", Mr Trump said.
Maloney said Special Counsel Robert Mueller "will soon tell us the key piece - whether American citizens conspired with the now-indicted Russians".
'We need our Republican colleagues to stand up for the good of this country, ' he said.
American politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as former USA intelligence officials and diplomats, began sharply criticizing Trump's remarks, even before the president had boarded Air Force One for the flight back home. So you have some back and forth there within the USA administration.
"Do you really think that someone acting from the Russian territory could've influenced the minds of the American [voter]?"
Asked if he personally favored Trump in the race, Putin responded: "Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties".
Trump is drawing criticism for statements about Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.
Spokespeople for the Justice Department and Mueller declined to comment on Trump's comments or on Putin's purported offers for assistance.
Asked directly by Wallace if Russian Federation had "kompromat" - or "compromising material" - on Trump, Putin denounced the allegations as "utter nonsense".
You couldn't blame Putin if he took Trump's comments as an open door to meddle again in 2018 and 2020.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called it "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory". "We don't have anything on them", Putin said.
"President Putin says it's not Russian Federation".
"We had direct, open, deeply productive dialogue", Trump said.