"Let me say this, I don't see any reason why it would be".
Although the World Cup is over, Russian President Vladimir Putin maintained a football theme at a summit in Helsinki with US President Donald Trump, handing a ball over to answer a question about discussions on Syria. He continued: "So 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".
On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers over alleged crimes tied to Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election in 2016.
The statement from Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, did not directly reference Trump's comments at a news conference alongside Putin in Helsinki. But Trump did not strongly condemn the interference efforts, which USA intelligence agencies insist did occur, including hacking of Democratic emails, the subject of last week's indictment of 12 Russians. When asked whether the Russian government had compromising information on Trump or his family members, Putin did not answer directly and dismissed the question by saying "it's hard to imagine greater nonsense".
The meeting in Finland was the first stand-alone summit between the two leaders.
Trump said the two also discussed nuclear proliferation, calling it "one of the most critical challenges facing humanity", as well as Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month. I think hopefully we can do something about that because it's not a positive force it's a negative force.
While we were not privileged to what was said in the private conversations, it was a missed opportunity for President Trump to not publicly state his support for the conclusions of American intelligence officials and demand Russian Federation not interfere in any future elections.
Trump said, as he has countless times, that there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russians.
Trump embraces longtime US foe Putin, doubting own intel
Before Trump's meeting Monday with the Russian president, several Republicans had urged him to send a strong sign of disapproval. The GOP senator's remarks make him one of the more critical voices among his party members on Monday's press conference .
House Speaker Paul Ryan also took issue with the president's approach.
"We both spoke with Bibi (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and they would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel", Trump told a joint news conference.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman spoke to reporters today who asked for his thoughts on the summit where Trump sided with Putin over US intelligence conclusions that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 elections. The billboards were placed along the leaders' route to the summit.
But Trump responded in kind, waiting until Putin had arrived at the presidential palace for the summit before leaving his hotel to greet the Russian president. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade", Trump said.
The US president also renewed accusations that the European Union was taking advantage of the United States in trade. "They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked".
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will discuss ways to normalize bilateral relations, as well as current worldwide issues, primarily the situation in Ukraine, Syria and the Korean Peninsula, the fight against terrorism, amid other issues.
The U.S. president's comments appeared to show just how much domestic political pressure he is under while meeting with his Russian counterpart in the Finnish capital.