"It was incredible and very, very disturbing". "They should not expect, however, to be misrepresented and abandoned by the president of the United States". "He has got to be celebrating on the way home to Moscow". Earlier Trump began the meeting with warm words for Putin, seated next to the Russian leader in an ornate presidential palace in Finland, and said it was a longstanding goal of his to improve US-Russian ties.
Senior Republican Senator John McCain called Trump's press conference "disgraceful" and a "low point" for the USA presidency. And he appeared to lean toward Putin on the matter, saying: "I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".
Several Republican senators - including John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of SC and Ben Sasse of Nebraska - attacked Trump.
"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant", he continued. Putin, who has been staring down American presidents since he rose to power in 2000, dismissed Trump's concerns about Russia's annexation of Crimea and gave vague promises to hold a dialogue about Syria and nuclear weapons.
"A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russian Federation, but it is good for the world", he said.
"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", Ryan said, in what was, for the mild-mannered speaker, akin to a reprimand.
"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse", Mr Trump tweeted yesterday, blaming "many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"
The Republican rebuke from Capitol Hill came largely from those lawmakers who have been willing to openly criticize the president.
Trump has been reluctant to blame Russian Federation for the hacks and again Monday refused to embrace the intelligence community assessment.
Some US politicians had called for the summit to be cancelled after 12 Russian military intelligence agents were indicted last week by US special counsel Robert Mueller, accused of hacking the presidential campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Two former USA intelligence chiefs expressed shock over Trump's appearance of "capitulating" to Putin. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the American president sincerely believes that there is no meaningful difference between the United States and Russian Federation, a regime that regularly murders dissident journalists and which appears to have recently deployed a toxic nerve agent in an attempted assassination inside the U.K. America is not beyond reproach, but Trump's apparent inability to differentiate between the United States and murderous, blatantly authoritarian regimes is a worrisome sign about both the limitations of his judgment and his own affinity for autocratic power. "I don't see any reason why it should be".
Democrats also sounded alarm. Trump effectively sided with Putin over the conclusions offered by officials in his own administration.
Putin admitted he'd wanted Trump to win the presidency and Trump castigated the Federal Bureau of Investigation instead of Russia, New York Times correspondent Peter Baker chimed in. There is simply no comparing the actions of the United States and Vladimir Putin. Instead, Trump said that both sides - Washington and Moscow - had "made mistakes".