17 Jul 2018

Trump-Putin summit: US President's comments 'treasonous'

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 17 July 2018

Former top American intelligence officials have condemned President Donald Trump for accepting Vladimir Putin's denial that Russia interfered in the 2016 US elections. Mr Trump and the Russian president met face-to-face in Helskinki overnight. Afterwards, Mr Putin denied meddling in the elections. Former CIA Director John Brennan called Mr Trump's comments "nothing short of treasonous." In a tweet he said: "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin." Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called the news conference "truly unbelievable" and said: "On the world's stage, in front of the entire globe, the President of the United States essentially capitulated and seems intimidated by Vladimir Putin." Former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden said in a tweet Mr Trump was "essentially confessing to the world that he believes Putin more the the United States of America and its agencies". The BBC's Lyse Doucet is in Helsinki she spoke to Philippa Tolley shortly after the press conference.