Rubio: Trump Can't Reach for 'Win-Win' When Putin Wants 'Zero-Sum'

Vladimir Putin

Rubio: Trump Can't Reach for 'Win-Win' When Putin Wants 'Zero-Sum'

On the Republican side, Senator John McCain said the summit "should not move forward" unless the president "is prepared to hold Putin accountable".

For more than 15 months, Donald Trump and his administration have refused to publicly condemn the systematic torture, abuse, and murder of LGBTQ people occurring in Chechnya as Vladimir Putin has licensed the violence to continue. Trump's domestic critics allege his 2016 election campaign colluded with Russian Federation, something both Trump and Russian Federation deny. "He feels strongly about the issue and has an interesting idea", Trump told a joint news conference with Putin in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

He disembarked his official jet before climbing into a newly commissioned Aurus Senat limousine and riding off in a motorcade similar to the one that accompanies president Trump.

Putin, for his part, played the role of statesman, serving as a kind of emcee and parrying questions from the press by professing incredulity at the allegations of meddling, before making an astonishing offer of a "deal" with the president. It gave no further details.

Mr Trump added they had discussed disagreements between their countries "at length", and accepted that relations between them have never been worse.

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"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" he said on Twitter. Agreeing to disagree on everything except that the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt is a pretty decent outcome for Putin; that's why Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov described it afterward as "better than super".

Senior Republican and Democratic politicians have strongly criticised Mr Trump's defence of Russian Federation in Helsinki.

Risch, R-Idaho, joined several fellow Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in voicing his support for US intelligence and denouncing Russian Federation.

"I beat Hillary Clinton easily and frankly we beat her..."

His manner towards Putin was also a contrast to the anger Trump flashed at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies at a combative summit of the alliance in Brussels last week, which critics said would only hearten Putin.

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Instead of being portrayed as a duel on the world stage, the summit was viewed in Russian Federation as a meeting of two powerful men who discussed global problems and then had to face down a crowd of pesky journalists.

Finnish papers declared Putin the clear "winner" of the summit, one with a scoreboard, another carrying the headline "Trump was my favourite" alongside a smiling Putin.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted a black and white photo of the two men looking ill-at-ease shortly after they met.

If that mad scramble was a frenzied view of U.S. -Russia relations, the two leaders took a more relaxed approach in their first encounter. He referred to the European Union as a "foe" in trade and repeatedly criticised it.

"Right now the president isn't leading, we negotiated from a position of weakness yesterday and Vladimir Putin walked away from Helsinki with a win, it's a disaster", Sasse told "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, joining the growing chorus of Republican and Democratic lawmakers critical of Mr. Trump's comments on Monday.

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Instead, Trump spoke defensively of his electoral victory and insisted that he won fair and square without Russian help. When he was in Brussels last week, Trump slammed Germany for paying "billions and billions of dollars" to Russian Federation to import gas, "the country that we are supposed to be protecting you against".

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