Trump is no Russian patsy. So what's his game, then?

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But, she said, Trump missed the chance to publicly back "the conclusions of American intelligence officials and demand Russian Federation not interfere in any future elections".

"The full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies - I have a full faith in our intelligence agencies", Trump said. "But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

"I'm stunned that President Trump failed to take this opportunity to confront President Putin about the interference in our elections", Murkowski said in a written statement.

And then, because Trump was not buying any of this script he was reading, he added, extemporaneously: "It could be other people also".

"We are starting to achieve some understanding which gives us sufficient ground to say that some things - a lot of things changed to the better during today's meeting", he said.

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He continued, "Let me be very clear in saying I accept our intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential race took place".

"If you listen to that you would have thought President Putin was a perfectly legitimate, credible voice of reason, and he's anything but that", said Metropolitan State University of Denver professor of political science Norman Provizer.

"My administration will repeal any attempt to interfere in our elections", he said.

The senators' responses came alongside widespread alarm from Republican leaders about Trump's press conference.

In comments first reported by Vox, the Republican praised the appearance as "a successful summit" and said, "I disregard and discount anything that involves the mainstream media press".

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Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) branded it "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.no prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant".

"We need our Republican colleagues to stand up for the good of this country", he said. The statement went against the overwhelming consensus of the US intelligence community that Russian Federation had interfered with the goal of helping Trump to be elected.

Mark Simakovsky, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center in Washington DC, told Al Jazeera that the summit in Helsinki has damaged Trump's credibility. The fact that the president's statements are at odds with the rest of his administration brought up the question that many have always been wondering, does Russian Federation have something on Mr. Trump?

Trump's comments also stunned some pundits on the president's favorite television channel: Fox News. It is a fact that Russian entities hacked USA presidential campaign accounts, launched cyberattacks against at least 21 states, attacked US voting system software companies, and engaged in social media misinformation campaigns during the 2016 campaign.

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