The damage inflicted by President Trump's naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate.
In a joint press conference following the talks, Trump expressed confidence that they can work together to denuclearize North Korea.
Congressman Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump had given Putin "a green light to interfere in 2018". "Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going insane!"
Rep. John Faso, a Republican, says he does not agree with the president's approach. But it came just two-and-a-half hours after Trump said that while he had "great confidence" in USA intelligence, Putin's denial of election meddling was "extremely strong and powerful".
Trump has always been at odds with his own intelligence community, largely clashing over a report released by US intelligence officials concluding that Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Nevertheless, it's unlikely that Ukraine and Russian election meddling will be absent from the conversation.
"NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia)". Moscow has also been refuting these allegations. "One of the early things he said when we started was, "It's really a shame, because we could do so much good".
Both countries were responsible for the hard state of relations between them, Trump said.
"Have you forgotten about - well, has Kennedy been killed in Russian Federation or in the United States?"
The indictments were announced by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general for the US, based on evidence from the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.
But Trump "made a game-time decision" to blame both the US and Russia for disintegrated relations and to publicly support Putin's denials of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the Post.
The friendly meeting was a notable contrast after a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit last week at which Trump berated allies for failing to spend enough on defence, prompting Germany to say Europeans could no longer rely on the White House. His proposal to trade access to Russians accused of hacking in return for Russian investigators engaging in investigations of Kremlin critics was "an incredible offer", according to Trump. Greater also than the need to support North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its mission to hold Putin accountable.
He said US-Russian relations should not be "held hostage" to an internal political struggle in America.