Following the conclusion of the one-on-one meeting between American President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, CNN aired a series of live shots showing the two of heads of state meeting in a breakout session alongside top members of their staff.
Speaking in front of media before the closed-door summit Trump said that getting along with Russian Federation would be a "good thing, not a bad thing".
Trump, bent on forging a personal bond with the Kremlin chief despite allegations of Russian meddling in United States politics, went into the summit blaming the "stupidity" of his predecessors for plunging ties to their present low.
He also echoed Trump's criticism of former President Barack Obama, saying he wished "Obama had been more aggressive in pursuing" Russian election meddling. "America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression", Sasse said in the statement.
The summit, which was being closely monitored by rattled world capitals, was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the USA indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump's presidential campaign.
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Trump also said the leaders would discuss reducing their nuclear arsenals, telling reporters: 'We are the two great nuclear powers. We have 90 percent of the nuclear, and that's not a good thing.
Despite the fact that White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller's year-long investigation has failed to disclose any proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Clinton continues to see Russian boogeymen everywhere.
That battle of the palms with Japan's prime minister previous year was half in jest but there were no jokes as Mr Trump, 72, and Mr Putin, 65, kicked off talks in the Finnish capital.
Putin presented Trump with a World Cup football, a day after attending the final of the much-praised tournament in Moscow. He indicated the talks were wide-ranging and covered nuclear non-proliferation, Middle Eastern affairs in Israel and Syria, Iran and the nuclear deal and Trump's recent negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Those leaders are already fuming over Trump's imposition of trade tariffs on various countries, including Russian Federation. I think the U.S. has been foolish.
Trump told reporters he would raise the issue of Russia's role in the election, though he doesn't expect Putin to acknowledge any wrongdoing. "The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the US elections", said Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov.
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Instead, Trump said Putin was "extremely strong and powerful" in his denial.
"NATO was a little bit tough at the beginning and it turned out to be love", replied Trump. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press".
Trump faces bipartisan scepticism in Washington that his desire for warming ties is displacing concerns over Russia's annexation of Crimea and other destabilising actions.
If Washington were to acquiesce in Russia's 2014 land-grab, this would break with decades of USA policy and send tremors through NATO's exposed eastern flank.
A copy of the grand jury indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers is seen after being filed in US District Court. "And we get along in Syria too", he said.
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