Attendee removed from room ahead of Trump-Putin press conference

Pauline Gross
July 17, 2018

No sooner had the USA and Russian presidents finished their joint press conference than CNN's anchor in Helsinki, Anderson Cooper, an heir to the Vanderbilt fortune who interned with the Central Intelligence Agency before going into television news, announced to his viewers that they had been "watching the most disgraceful conduct by an American president...that I have ever seen".

If anyone is "the enemy of the people", it is Trump himself. The Russian president made an "incredible offer" to allow Russian and U.S. investigators to work together on allegations of Russian cyber attacks, Mr Trump said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called it "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

Indeed, the question came up at the news conference itself.

Wallace added that Putin "flatly denied" having any compromising information about President Trump.

Think of how extraordinary - how unprecedented - that moment was.

"We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security", Mr Coats said.

"Shameful, disgraceful, treasonous - those are some of the descriptions of what President Trump did today in Helsinki", Fox's Shepard Smith said to open his news show.

The Russian President dismissed the issue as "nonsense", but it was his answer that was nonsensical.

Trump was asked by a journalist to comment on the Nord Stream 2 project.

Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow is only the tip of a Titanic-size iceberg.

The only tangible sign of progress was Putin's gift of a World Cup soccer ball to Trump.

Putin took a ride in it from one building inside the Kremlin to another on his inauguration day in May.

The speculation, while hardly conclusive, is entirely reasonable.

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The praise from Russia's elite for Putin's performance at the summit contrasted sharply with the reaction in Washington where U.S. President Donald Trump's own Republican party accused him of failing to stand up to Putin.

"He was a rich person, but, well, there's plenty of rich persons in the United States", Mr Putin said.

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

The sellout in Helsinki only adds further credence to this speculation about the true nature of Trump-Putin ties.

The much-anticipated first formal sit-down between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, concluded with no surprises on Monday evening, while the two leaders vowed to move beyond political friction and find areas of cooperation.

Helsinki showed that Trump meant what he said when he declared repeatedly, "Peace with Russian Federation is a good thing, not a bad thing".

"Yes, I did", Putin said.

"We hope that Trump will have enough political will and patience to overcome the resistance and continue dialogue with Russian Federation".

It was a remarkable break with United States intelligence officials and the Justice Department and, just as alarming for some, Mr Trump also put the two countries on the same footing when casting blame for their strained relations.

We are past the point where Trump's conduct can be ascribed to his general sympathy for dictators. "We've all been foolish", he said, before veering into a discussion about his election victory.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied there was any collaboration between his camp and Russian Federation to try to help him win. But Trump just can not bring himself to do it.

What's the worst Putin could have done, glare at him? Either way, he gives every impression of betraying his oath of office.

So far, no evidence has been presented by the special counsel's office to suggest this was the case (Mr Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort with tax fraud, money laundering and illegal lobbying).

So what does that make his boss?

Other reports by GizPress

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