I've seen Russian intelligence manipulate many people over my professional career and I never would have thought that the US President would become one of the ones getting played by old KGB hands.— Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) July 16, 2018
Today’s press conference in #Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 16, 2018
My full statement on the #HelsinkiSummit: https://t.co/lApjctZyZl
From the transcript of the instantly-infamous Putin-Trump presser in Helsinki:
- "As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics, or the media, or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct."
- "No, actually I called him a competitor and a good competitor he is. And I think the word competitor is a compliment.:
- "I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time frankly before I got to office. And I think we're all to blame."
- :I think that the, the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it's kept us apart, it's kept us separated."
- "My people came to me, Dan Coats, came to me and some others they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server but I have, I have confidence in both parties."
- "I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer.He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer."
REPORTER: Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?A non-denial denial on kompromat:
PUTIN: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S. Russia relationship back to normal.
Yeah, I did heard these rumors that we allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow. Our distinguished colleague, let me tell you this. When President Trump visited Moscow back then I didn't even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect. But back then, when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow.
But let's take St. Petersburg economic forum, for instance. There were over 500 American businessmen - the high ranking, the high level ones, I don't even remember the last names of each and every one of them. Do you think that we tried to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them? Well, it's difficult to imagine an utter nonsense of a bigger scale than this.
Well, please just disregard these issues and don't think about this anymore again.