U. S President Donald Trump faced ire and criticism from mlutiple quarters in U.S for his comments at the Helsinki Summit, where he met the Russian President Vladmir Putin.
Trump faced criticism for his comments regarding Russia's role in the 2016 U.S Election meddling.
During a press conference at the summit, Trump was asked whether he believed the assessment of the U.S intelligence agencies, who have opined that Russia did try to interfere in the 2016 U.S elections, or if he believed in Putin's statements, denying any meddling at all.
Trump responded by saying that he was aware of the assessment of the U.S intelligence, and added that "they say it's Russia, and I have President Putin here who says its not Russia, and I don't see any reason why it would be"
Trump appeared to be siding with Russian President's words, over the conclusions of his own Intelligence agencies and their inputs. This prompted many commentators in U.S, liberals and conservatives alike, to subject President Trump to severe criticism and accuse him of failing to stand-up to the Russian President for the 2016 election meddling.
Several former intelligence officials, notable among them John Brennan, ex-CIA director, also criticized Trump, and even called his actions as "nothing short of treasonous"
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Other former officials, who held important positions came down heavily on Trump as well, with former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also saying that Trump has "failed America today."
"I would not have said it the way John (Brennan) said it. John can say it the way he wants to say it. But as to impeachment, we'll see how this plays out. That's a congressional responsibility and the Congress must do what they think is in the best interest of this country," Hagel told CNN.
According to the report, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper branded the news conference as "truly unbelievable."
Trump endorsed Putin's stance on Russia's non-involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election, insisting that he ran a "clean campaign".
"There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it," he said.
Trump also mentioned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign was "a disaster for our country," while also saying that it had negatively impacted US-Russia relations.
As per several media reports, Brennan has called on members of President Trump's Cabinet to resign in protest following the news conference, questioning as to how US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton and chief of staff John Kelly "can continue in their jobs"
"I cannot understand how the national security team can continue to abide by this and how Pompeo and Bolton and Kelly can continue in their jobs," Brennan said on MSNBC.