Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Trump says people at ‘higher ends of intelligence’ loved his Putin press conference

President says 'big results' are to be expected

Kimberley Richards
New York
Wednesday 18 July 2018 17:50 BST
Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki
Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki (AP)

Donald Trump has said people at the “higher ends of intelligence” loved his press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, despite the wave of public criticism the US president has since received.

In a post published to Twitter, Mr Trump suggested that critics of the Putin-Trump press conference – or “haters” as he referred to them – were disappointed to see the two presidents get along nicely.

“So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki,” he wrote. “Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match…”

Mr Trump received widespread backlash earlier this week when he refused to denounce Russia over meddling in the US 2016 presidential election, despite conclusions from US intelligence agencies that Russia did so.

Standing next to Mr Putin at the Helsinki conference, Mr Trump said: “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server…”

Mr Trump’s remarks were in response to a reporter’s question on whether the US president believed US intelligence agencies or Russia on election interference.

Back at the White House, Mr Trump later claimed he misspoke at the press conference and intended to say, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia”.

Former CIA Director John Brennan called Mr Trump’s performance at the conference “treasonous” in a post published on Twitter.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanours,” he wrote. “It was nothing short of treasonous.”

Less than 24 hours after backtracking on his comments on Russia, Mr Trump appeared to be standing by his performance in Helsinki.

The US president also said in his tweet that “big results” were to come from his meeting with Putin.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in