A wary and robust stance toward Russian Federation has been a bedrock of his party's world view.
"We have not been getting along well for the last number of years", Trump said after arriving at the Presidential Palace in Finland's capital, where the leaders are meeting. "He just said it's not Russian Federation".
"I think it becomes increasingly hard for the Russians to deny it", says Lee. His skepticism drew a quick formal statement - nearly a rebuttal - from Trump's director of national Intelligence, Dan Coats.
Indeed, some domestic critics wanted the Helsinki summit called off entirely after 12 Russian military agents were indicted under a long-running probe into Moscow's alleged manipulation of the 2016 election.
The American president first took aim at Germany, criticising their failure to meet defence spending pledges and claiming that the country "is totally controlled by Russian Federation". Trump tweeted, with a swipe at his White House predecessors.
Trump has lashed out at other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, urging them to spend more on defence.
As to charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the president dismissed them as being ludicrous, saying he beat Democratic contender Hillary Clinton fair and square. Republican Patriots: "Where are you-?"
Appearing on "The Next Revolution", Cohen said Trump is not fully empowered to deal with Putin, explaining that both men will meet stiff opposition politically to any improvement in relations. "I don't see any reason why Russian Federation would interfere in the 2016 election, ' Trump said".
"First of all, Mr President I'd like to congratulate you on a really great World Cup".
Today's meeting rounds off an explosive trip for Trump to Europe..
But Trump made it clear he believed the Russian leader when Putin denied his country had any hand in meddling in United States political affairs. Asked about the indictments, Putin suggested that Moscow and Washington could jointly conduct the investigation, inviting special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators to come to Russian Federation to interview the 12 people- an idea Trump hailed as an "incredible offer".
McFaul also called out Trump for blaming the US for poor relations with Russian Federation.
The call happened a few weeks after Putin showed the video during his address to the Russian parliament and before his re-election, Axios reports.
After months of exchanging long-distance compliments, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin sit down on Monday for their first ever summit, a potential political minefield at home for the US president but a geopolitical win for his Russian counterpart.
This was after he tweeted earlier that Washington's "foolishness and stupidity" was the reason for bad relations.
Trump, bent on forging a personal bond with the Kremlin chief despite allegations of Russian meddling in U.S. politics, went into the summit blaming the "stupidity" of his predecessors for plunging ties to their present low. "We can do more, so if you want to do an arms race you'll lose", Trump said, according to Axios' source. The Russians said it lasted two hours and 10 minutes.
Asked about the indictment during his visit to the United Kingdom, Trump told reporters that he would "absolutely bring up" the meddling issue at the meeting with Putin.
Those last two in particular are remarkable and easy to frame in an alarming way: Trump wants to treat Putin with generosity and doesn't want the specifics of what he said to leak out.