President Donald Trump’s siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin rather than his own intelligence services — who said Russia had meddled in the U.S. election in 2016 — has prompted a litany of eye-grabbing headlines in the press.
Trump's summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday saw the leaders chat in private before a press conference during which Trump made waves by saying that, despite advice from the U.S. Intelligence community, he believed Putin's repudiation of the allegations.
Trump's refusal to condemn Russia has largely prompted consternation, scorn and disbelief from politicians, pundits and the press.
Most newspapers Tuesday morning went for variations on the theme — Trump appearing to side with Putin — with an image of the men shaking hands featuring widely on front pages around the world.
Headlines have mainly followed the lines of: “Trump backs Putin over FBI in election meddling row,” “Trump sides with Russia over FBI” or “Trump defends Putin over U.S. election meddling accusations,” as per Britain's The Daily Telegraph, Metro and Financial Times newspapers.
Others, following a meeting that shocked Republicans and Democrats alike for Trump’s apparently all-too-easy trust of Putin’s word, led with the condemnation waiting for Trump at home in the U.S.
“Trump faces backlash after hailing ‘productive’ summit with Putin,” conservative U.K. broadsheet The Times stated. The U.K.'s left-leaning Guardian newspaper went further, quoting former CIA director John Brennan in its headline that stated “’Nothing short of treasonous:' Trump accused over Putin talks.”
Reflecting on an "extraordinary summit," the U.K.'s Sky News ventured further, asking "Could Donald Trump be impeached after 'disgraceful' news conference with Vladimir Putin?"
In continental Europe, Germany's Die Welt online news site carried the headline, "After Trump's performance, even Republicans talk of betrayal" and Spain's El Pais went for a similar line, saying Trump had caused "indignation" among Republicans. France's Les Echos noted that the "U.S. president scandalized the American public by saying Monday that there was no collusion during the last election campaign." Italy's Corriere della Sera noted that "Trump did not listen to advice and immediately capitulated on 'Russiagate.'"