CIA reportedly went into 'panic mode' when Trump appeared to side with Putin over US intelligence community in Helsinki

trump putin helsinkiChris McGrath/Getty Images

  • The CIA reportedly went into "panic mode" in July when President Donald Trump appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Kremlin's election interference as they met in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about Russia's election interference, and flip-flopped on the issue numerous times.
  • Trump denies his campaign colluded with Russia's election interference.

The CIA reportedly went into "panic mode" in July when President Donald Trump appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the subject of the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 presidential election. This occurred as the two world leaders held a press conference as they met in Helsinki, Finland.

"There was this gasp" at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, at the time, a US intelligence official told the Washington Post.

"You literally had people in panic mode watching it at Langley. On all floors. Just shock," the official added.

The CIA and White House did not immediately respond to a requests for comment from INSIDER.

Read more: Trump says he doesn't 'see any reason' why Russia would have hacked the US election when asked whether he believes Putin or the US intel community

The US intelligence community concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election at Putin's behest in an effort to bolster Trump's chances of winning. Putin has vehemently denied these allegations.

Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about Russia's election interference, and flip-flopped on the issue numerous times. The president's inconsistent stance on this issue has added to suspicions his campaign colluded with the Kremlin, though he's strongly rejected this allegation amid special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the matter.

During their meeting in July, the president seemingly endorsed Putin's denials, describing them as "strong and powerful."

Read more: Trump claims he misspoke, walks back his explosive comments with Putin amid harsh blowback from allies and critics

"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," Trump said at the time, adding that he didn't "see any reason why" Russia would have interfered in the 2016 election.

The president was promptly accused of siding with Putin over the US intelligence community for his remarks. Trump later walked back on his comments, and claimed he misspoke.

"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," Trump said, but added it "could be other people also, there are a lot of people out there."

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