US President Donald Trump has defended Russia over allegations that they interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
The two leaders held nearly two hours of one-on-one discussion in Helsinki, Finland on Monday. In a press conference after the closed-door meeting, Mr Trump said he believed there was no Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
"President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be," he said in the conference.
His comments come after a special counsel investigating Russian interference during the election issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence offers, concluding that they hacked the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Donald Trump is facing one of the greatest tests of his presidency following a meeting with Vladimir Putin, Newshub Europe correspondent Lloyd Burr says.
In a press conference after the one-on-one meeting, Mr Trump said he believed there was no Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
The president doth protest too much.
He consistently denied any collusion and called an inquiry into the election a "disaster".
Those comments have caused a great deal of upset in the United States, even among Republicans and right-wing media, Burr told The AM Show.
"The president doth protest too much and the more he made those denials the more it sounded like there was some sort of collusion going on," Burr said.
"So it really is causing a huge upset, I think this is going to test Trump quite a lot, probably the most he's been tested in his presidency so far."
Burr said Mr Trump undermined the US democracy, intelligence services and legal system during the press conference.
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"He wanted to wing it, he has winged it and look at the situation he's in now," Burr said.
"You've got some of those loyal most right wingers, those Republicans who have come out, they're actually blasting him."
Prominent Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have called the comments a sign of weakness and a disgrace.
"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant," Mr McCain said.
Mr McCain called the press conference "the most disgraceful performance by an American president in living memory".
Republocan House speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement that “there is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy”.
The media has taken aim at Mr Trump too, including one of the hosts of Fox and Friends, a show with a right-wing reputation.
"You've also got a host of Fox and Friends... who's come out saying no negotiations are worth throwing your country and the people in that country under the bus for," Burr said.
"It is polarising Donald Trump's supporters, his very core grassroots supporters and I think this is going to be the biggest test he's had to face."
Watch the full interview with Lloyd Burr above.
The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.