Breaking down the Helsinki summit: What happened when Trump and Putin met

During a press conference, Trump said he didn't "see any reason" why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.
9:57 | 07/17/18

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Transcript for Breaking down the Helsinki summit: What happened when Trump and Putin met
It began with handshake. A quick photo opportunity. President trump with agrin president Putin stone-faced. And it was down to business. Gre to be with you. Reporter: After the cameras left theom, it was just the two men a their transls. An unprecedented two-hour off the record meeting. Th erged together, the prent of the united Ates standing side by side wihe president of Russia, addressing the world andnted questions about Russia's iference in America's election. You hold Russia at all accoune for anything in particular? S, do. I hold both cntries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been ish. And I think we're a toame. There was no collusion Reporter: Those comments coming on the H O last week's grand jury inme of 12 Russian intelligence officers R their aed roles in coting cyber crimes to interfere in the 2016 elections. Thendictment crges 12 Russian military officer by name conspiring T interre with the 2016 presidential election. Reporter:ay pin ring his own response tons of meddling. And then this offer. He says would allow Russian authorities to question the 1 DI officers with Mueller's team present. But he added a coion. Russia must then be allow to terrogate American intelligence agts. Prent trump sounded enthusiastic at the prpect. Nd what he did is an credible ofr. He offeredhave the people workinn the caseend work with their investirs with respect to the people I think that's an incredible R. Okay? Thank you. Rter: But he was moment that truly ign T firestorm today. When presidentmpeared T throw america ie communy under the S. Would you now, with the whole world watching, tell pde Putin, WOU denounce what happen in2016 and would you warn him T N do it again? My people came me, Dan coats camo me, and some ot, theyai they think it's Russia. I have president Putin. He just said it's not russia will say this. I't see any reason why it . So I have great confidence my inlligence people. But I will tell you that president Putin extremely strong and powerful his denial today. Repor the reaction swift and furious. CIA director John bnnan calling it "Nothing short of treasonous thcuent doctor of nationalintelligen Dan co hand-pd stating that the intelligence community Haen clear in their sessment O ran meddling in the 20 election the condemnation even comin from members of his own party. John mccainlihe press conference "One of the mostdisgracefuperformanc by an American president in memory." Lican chair of thesenate foreign relations cotee ad trump. The president'som made us look nation more like a pushover. Reporter: And staunch trump ally and friend newt Gingrich comingn hard on the presidentwell "President trump muslarify his statent in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of hisresidency and must B correctedimmediately." The conservative press also breaking rank. "The drudgeport" running this headline, "Putin dominates in hell." Even Fox News following suit. This has got to be the most incred thing I'v ever witnessed. I not aer forceful presentation fromsident trumph P standing right next to him. Reporter: White house officials keenl aware that this did N go well, this did not go according to plan. Whatmost sing about what the president said in Helsinki is his wordsnd stark contrast to what his own top advisers have been saying. C's Terry moranht there D describing the energy on the ground at the summit. Well, that was something else.don't think any American has ever seen a conference E like that from anrican president and a Russi leader who iscribed by all of our allies as an asary and a dangerous one. President tr has dido deemphasize Erica's and institutions and bet closeth Kremlin. Reporter: Hairi ka sachlt anis director of defense studies at the center national interest, thought the YFD a summit to improve relations was a good step byresident trump. We need T least a working relationship with them. Does THA mea we no be friends orllies ot friends with Vladimir O's, let's face it, a dictator? But W do need to have at least P toteh each other. We nee to explain to each other our red lines on different issues. Repor although saw roomor improvement today. You could try to say, well, I try to givbody the nefit of the doubt. But when mule U.S. Intelligen tell Y the Russians tried to hack our tion, you have to believe them.it see L president trump for what reason ha it in hea that the Russians did try tack our election.when all evidence points to quite the contrary. D for the pdeo deny that forhareason, maybe because he's afraid tt it gh tarnish his election results, mbesfraid it might open T pitical attack, is probable the reason he's doing it and I think today he's made a veryer mistake. Reporter: While there was no official white house agenda publhed before summit, trump telling fox ne's Sean hayftert ended - It discussed so many difft thin including R, including war and peace, including economic, Syria, Ukraine. I'lll you that I thought it was a R amazing time. Noabout . I think it's a shame we're talking about nuclear prn,re talking out Syria and humanitarian aid, WRE talking about all of these difnt things and we get questions on the witch hunt Let's put a finent on this. Fo those, for the mort pi a us who watched today' doings in Helsinki and see something dark afoot on the part O president tr what do you say to them? Well ife'reoi to the darkest side oe room that H an asset of the Russians, I thinkhat's Ver unlikely. But there's a lf troubling issuesl short of that. Reporter: We know now at Ast 13 T allies including some of dontrump'scircle his don. Campaign manager Paul mort had more than a dozen meet andumous in person communions withuss tw of 2015 and inaugura day 2017. Most of these meetings and communications were not known until aerrump took ce. B if Yo look at the extent of tiesetweeneople in his orbit and/or on hisampaign and Russia, I mean, it's --N you tet in totality it's quite strike. What do you make of itou look at it all THA way in sum? Personally do think he's compromised to a CIN extent people him. I D knows professional intelligence officer, it'sar me to say that the Russians have had this long-term plan and he's bee a plant for a long I don't seat. But I do see a lot of unethical untriotic behavior and a lot of almost sof gangster-like activities that could put him in a difficult ace and certainly around him that he's cto work with H have made a lot of badchoice Reporter: To date Robert muelle investigation into pordation been the trump campaign and Russia has brought criminal proceedin agt 32 people and three Russian organizations and sentenced one person toprison, L in just 1 Mont and just today in aeparate FBI investigation aan arrested O crges that acted as a Kremlin agent. Crossed paths with Donald Trump an hisson, Jr., in July of 2015. Did the Russians need an American per with whom to collude? Ven that theyere able to get access to this imation anyway. The pastry one of these campaigns, the active measures campaigns that they've sources and ies, that could help them understand aim and dir the work they've done. In this would suspect there is too. Ether therecifically tied to the trump campaign, I don't know. But if the past is any explanation, yes, they've always hadple the groundhat can help them direct the kind of activity they're doing here. Rter: Whileueller inues hisork to find out if any lenthe Russians a hand in election meddling, on the pr front I seems Putin got a huge lift today frothe Amer president. On Russian television he seemed delighted, Cal trump very qualifd D an interngcotion partner. Andn a st-summit interview with Chris wce of fox News -- May I givehis to you to look at, sir? Reporter: -- He brushed off acopy of LE latest inment. Here? Should we be expecting more meddling by Russia and areprepared to deal with it? Y and . The answers T thosequestions. Russia will absolut continue to meddle. Mr. Trump H notcknowledged the 2016ttack on th election. And certainly has notushed and not do these things. Ando Russia wi coinue to push up to that LI. Ey've got to be careful not to push over it andor us to reach but I we can expect T for sure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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