Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki

Everybody around Trump is afraid to disagree with him, source says

Asked about President Trump’s performance today, a source close to White House said, “Everyone around him is afraid to tell him he shouldn’t do these things.”

The source said Trump is surrounded by people who can’t find better jobs outside the White House. They are fearful of losing their powerful positions, which explains the reluctance to disagree with him.

Finnish president: Putin is looking to be on “even footing” with Trump

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö holds a press conference of the Putin-Trump meeting in Mäntyniemi, the official residence of the Finnish President, in Helsinki, Finland on June 28, 2018.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour the Helsinki summit allowed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to stand on an “even footing” with President Trump.

Niinistö, who held separate meetings with both men in the Finnish capital, warned that Putin would leave Helsinki carrying “a kind of burden” with questions still looming over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Crimea and the ongoing sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US and European Union.

“I think for him it was important to be on an even footing with the American President,” Niinistö said.

“But actually, he also left with a kind of burden. Those big issues, if they continue, they should also be solved somehow and Russia has many questions.”

These Republicans typically support Trump. Today was different.

President Donald Trump’s stunning news conference Monday next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which he failed to back the US intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election over Putin’s denial, is being widely panned by Democrats, former intelligence chiefs, and Republican critics like Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Today, there a few new voices in the pool of condemnations, most notably ones who typically supported Trump in the past like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Reps. Liz Cheney and Trey Gowdy.

Here’s what they said:

House Speaker Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan contradicted several comments Trump made during his Helsinki news conference, most notably backing the US intelligence community assessment that Russia meddled with the US 2016 presidential election.

“There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world,” said Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, in a statement. “That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence.”

Ryan continued, “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell spoke briefly with reporters Monday, giving his support to the US intelligence community. “I’ve said a number…

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