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Intelligence community, political experts criticize president’s comments at summit with Putin

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putting met in Finland on Monday for a summit attempting to repair U.S.-Russia relations.

Trump is drawing criticism for statements about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

“President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said. “I’ll say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

“If you listen to that you would have thought President Putin was a perfectly legitimate, credible voice of reason, and he’s anything but that,” said Metropolitan State University of Denver professor of political science Norman Provizer.

“Ask any Russian expert. He was essentially taking President Putin’s argument that he didn’t do it as being equal to all the intelligence gathered by American agencies.

The national intelligence community reacting to the comments, including former CIA Director John Brennan, who said on Twitter “It was nothing short of treasonous,” and “Trump is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

“Anyone who just believes President Putin given his record is someone who you could probably sell the Brooklyn Bridge to,” Provizer said.

Provizer said Trump questioning U.S. institutions is nothing new, and something that has been seen since the campaign and consistently afterward.

While he said diplomacy is about talking, not shooting at each other, Provizer believes the summit should have been under certain terms, where the U.S. showed a clear stance of holding Russia accountable.

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