Wall Street Journal editorial board rips Trump on Helsinki: It was a 'national embarrassment'
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The Wall Street Journal editorial board is slamming President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE over his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, calling it a “national embarrassment.”

“Details from the private Trump-Putin talks in Helsinki will spill out in coming days, but Monday’s joint press conference was a personal and national embarrassment,” the conservative newspaper said in a scathing editorial

“On stage with the dictator whose election meddling has done so much harm to his Presidency, Mr. Trump couldn’t even bring himself to say he believed his own intelligence advisers like Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsSchiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Rod Rosenstein joins law and lobbying firm DHS issues bulletin warning of potential Iranian cyberattack MORE over the Russian strongman,” the piece continued.

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Trump drew swift, bipartisan backlash on Monday after he refuted his own intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, saying while standing next to Putin that he doesn’t “see any reason” why Russia would have been behind the hacking.

He also said that Putin was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial” during the summit on Monday.

“Denials from liars usually are strong and powerful,” The Wall Street Journal said. “The charitable explanation for this kowtow to the Kremlin is that Mr. Trump can’t get past his fury that critics claim his election was tainted by Russian interference. And so he couldn’t resist, in front of the world, going off on a solipsistic ramble about “Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders MORE’s emails” and Democratic ‘servers.’”

The editorial went on to say that for a “rare moment” in his presidency, Trump “projected weakness" during the press conference.

“He was the one on stage beseeching Mr. Putin for a better relationship, while the Russian played it cool and matter of fact,” the Journal said. “Mr. Trump touted their personal rapport, saying the bilateral ‘relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed as of about four hours ago. I really believe that.’ In four hours?” 

The editorial board said that Trump went “soft” on Putin, adding that will make it “even harder” for Trump to make deals with the Russian leader in the future. 

“Republicans and Democrats will unite in Congress, as they should, to limit his diplomatic running room,” the opinion piece concluded. “Mr. Trump may decide to court Mr. Putin anyway, like Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina National Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo MORE did Iran’s mullahs, but political isolation concerning a foreign adversary is a weak and dangerous place to be.”

The Journal has occasionally criticized Trump in the past. In late June, the publication’s editorial board tore into his trade policies and warned that Republicans may suffer in the 2018 midterms due to the president's tariffs.