After Helsinki, U.S. intel chief defends findings on Russian meddling

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Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Monday directly challenged comments by President Trump, saying the US intelligence community has been "clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election".

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down for a conference in Helsinki on Monday to talk about a broad range of topics and bilateral ties - a meeting Trump entered after bashing previous United States policy toward Russia.

The Obama administration did, in fact, take action, including confronting Putin in person as well as expelling almost three dozen Russian diplomats the US said were actually intelligence operatives and imposing new sanctions.

"I think we have a lot of foes", Trump said.

The two leaders discussed worldwide terrorism, cybersecurity and nuclear proliferation, in addition to the claims Russian tried to interfere in the 2016 president election.

Back home, news of Russian interference in the 2016 elections continued to dominate the headlines - particularly after the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian military intelligence officials suspected of hacking. He added that they "spent a great deal of time talking about it".

All 12 are members of the GRU, a Russian military intelligence agency.

Flake, who isn't running for re-election and has been a frequent critic of the president, took to Twitter after Trump and Putin held a joint news conference on Monday during their summit in Helsinki, Finland.

His national security adviser said they weren't looking for any "concrete deliverables".

Trump said, as he has countless times, that there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russians.

A source close to Mr Trump said the propaganda footage "crossed the line", according to Axios.

Lindsey Graham of SC called the summit a "missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections".

"I really think the world wants to see us get along", Trump said.

Putin told reporters that Moscow "will never interfere in internal American affairs".

Earlier he had said he was keeping expectation low for the summit, saying "nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out".

"This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves", Graham wrote on Twitter.

Trump recently took aim at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Twitter before saying last week in a meeting with other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders that Moscow controlled Berlin because of an energy pipeline project. "I will not make decisions on foreign policy to appease the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct".

Later, Trump also noted that the two countries had to work together to address the world problems.

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