US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his much talked about meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on 16 July was even better than the annual NATO summit he attended in Brussels.

“While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia,” Trump posted on Twitter.

“Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy!” he added, lashing out at the media that crtiicised his government.

EDITORIAL | Calibrated summit

“The meeting between President Putin and myself was a great success, except in the Fake News Media!” Trump said in another tweet ten hours later.

At the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump demanded a greater contribution to defense funding by the allies of America.

READ | Helsinki summit: No concrete results, but Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin content

The statements issued by the President after his controversial meeting with Putin received massive criticism in the United States, even from his own Republican Party.

At a joint press statement with Putin, Trump almost questioned the conclusions of US intelligence services that the Kremlin had interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections to benefit him and undermine the chances of Hillary Clinton.

US intelligence agencies CIA and FBI have always said they have proof that Russia tried to interfere in the election, though could not influence the final result.

READ | US-Russia ties should not be held hostage to Mueller probe: Putin

Trump however told the media that he didn’t see “any reason” why Russia would have wanted to meddle in the American electoral process. “President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” said the US President.

He even said Putin was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial”.

Trump’s statement supporting Putin has invited a lot of flak in the US, including that of former CIA directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan, and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan.

In Helsinki, Putin described the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Moscow’s election meddling as “political games”, which he said should not be permitted to interfere with US-Russia ties.

(With agency inputs)