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In Helsinki, Trump Appeared To Side With Russia Over U.S. Intelligence Community

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

I'm Mary Louise Kelly in Helsinki, where I sat 40 feet or so away from two world leaders today, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier today, they met one-on-one for more than two hours. Only their interpreters were present. Over a working lunch, the group grew. President Trump gave the talks up to that point good reviews.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think it's a good start - very, very good start for everybody.

KELLY: The day concluded with a remarkable press conference.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

With a handshake and an uncharacteristically soft-spoken thank you very much to President Putin, President Trump opened the press conference. During the session, he returned to his election victory. And he questioned what happened to Hillary Clinton's emails.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

TRUMP: Thirty-three thousand emails gone - just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn't be gone so easily. I think it's a disgrace that we can't get Hillary Clinton's 33,000 emails.

SHAPIRO: When a reporter asked whether President Putin wanted candidate Donald Trump to win the election, Putin had this to say.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Speaking Russian).

SHAPIRO: "Yes, I did. I wanted him to win," Putin said. And most remarkably, President Trump refused to support U.S. intelligence agencies led by director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in their unanimous conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

TRUMP: People came to me. Dan Coats came to me and some others. They said they think it's Russia. 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. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.