Alaska Sens. Murkowski, Sullivan critical of Trump’s Russian Federation statements at Helsinki summit

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The run-up to the first summit-level meeting in Helsinki, Finland, between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has seen the former often singing hosannas in honour of the Russian leader, lending credence to the popular belief that the duo are now the new BFFs on the global stage.

In the wake of Trump's Helsinki appearance, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader of the Senate, said: "A single, ominous question now hangs over the White House: What could possibly cause President Trump to put the interests of Russian Federation over those of the United States?" "I think this would've been an opportunity to do so".

"I thought we were doing horribly before today", the president said.

"Each day's news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines", Obama said, calling these "strange and uncertain times we are in". "And I think we're all to blame".

When Carlson asked Trump whether Russian Federation is the "chief adversary" of the U.S., Trump deflected and said he is more concerned with getting a productive dialogue going rather than putting labels on each other.

Republican reaction afterward was largely critical, though ranged from guarded to furious.

"There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy", Ryan said in a statement.

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"There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals", he said.

"Russia attacked our democracy", Cuomo continued, and "we won't stand for it. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump had said, in a remark that stunned listeners and provoked outrage, even from many Republicans. "This is shameful", tweeted Sen.

In a later interview with Fox News, Mr Putin said it was "ridiculous" that some people thought Russian Federation could have influenced the USA elections.

Senator John McCain called it, "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory", while Senator Ben Sasse called it "bizarre".

Taking a swipe at Fox News Channel hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, both who scored post-summit interviews with Donald Trump, the disgraced ex-law enforcement leader claimed the president "owes it to our nation to sit down with a serious journalist". American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed.

CNN's chief political analyst Gloria Borger said: "This president looked like he was in a hostage situation, reading from a script that others had written for him, that he clearly did not want to read". "One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain".

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