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As White House Declares Summit a Success, Sanders Rips Trump-Putin Presser as 'Embarrassing Spectacle'

"Today is a good day for Putin and the oligarchs in Russia. It is a bad day for people in the United States and all over the world who believe in democracy and who are trying to understand what world our idiot president lives in."

President Donald Trump poses with a football given to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

While U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir declared during a joint press conference on Monday that their one-on-one discussion was "successful and useful," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) denounced the two leaders' public appearance   as "an embarrassing spectacle" and ripped Trump in particular for failing to "make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable."

"Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community," Sanders wrote on Twitter as the White House lauded the Finland summit as "constructive."

"Today is a good day for Putin and the oligarchs in Russia," Sanders added. "It is a bad day for people in the United States and all over the world who believe in democracy and who are trying to understand what world our idiot president lives in."

Asked if he believes Putin's insistence that he did not meddle in the 2016 presidential election over the conclusions of American intelligence agencies, Trump highlighted the Russian president's "extremely strong and powerful" denials and said he can't "see any reason why" Russia would want to interfere in U.S. elections.

"They said they think it's Russia," Trump said. "I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russia."

As Common Dreams reported last week, Sanders called on Trump to use the Finland summit to confront Putin over his alleged role in election meddling—a demand that came just hours after 12 Russian military officers were indicted for "conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."

While Trump claimed that he and Putin spent a "great deal of time" on Monday discussing the topic of election interference, Sanders concluded that the U.S. president's "pathetic performance" at Monday's presser indicates that the two-hour meeting behind closed doors produced little substance.

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