Criticism grows after President Trump 'sides with Putin' in Helsinki

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Treasonous, disgraceful -- just some of the words used to describe President Trump's performance at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki today. Mr. Trump defied normal presidential behavior by going against his own intelligence officials and siding with Putin over Russian interference in the U.S. Presidential Election.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," said Mr. Trump.

San Francisco resident and Trump donor Scott Robertson wasn't fazed by the president's remarks. He says he liked what Mr. Trump's had to say.

"Russia is not our enemy. We're not at war with Russia. Why wouldn't we want to get along with Russia?" said Robertson.

RELATED: Trump-Putin meeting could be watershed moment

But the overwhelming response was outrage. The criticism came from solid Trump allies like Newt Gingrich to even the president's favorite news channel.

"That's what made his performance disgusting. I'm sorry that's just how I feel. It's not a right or left thing. It's just wrong," Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto said during a broadcast.

"I think the murmurs from Neil Cavuto and the folks at Fox News is really interesting because that's where a lot of his messages are sent out so if those messages become loud shouts then you could potentially see this being a watershed moment that could take down the presidency," said Nolan Higdon, a professor of history and communication at Cal State East Bay.

The fact that the president's statements are at odds with the rest of his administration brought up the question that many have long been wondering, does Russia have something on Mr. Trump?

"I had heard about that we had allegedly collected compromising materials on Mr. Trump when he came to Moscow. Respected colleagues, when Mr. Trump came to Moscow, I didn't even know he was there," said Putin.

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