The leaders’ diplomatic veneer quickly wore off at an at times farcical press conference

At Monday’s summit in Helsinki, two leaders not known for their love of diplomacy both tried out an act as elder statesmen, trading lofty phrases about shared interests and respect that could turn around the troubled relations between Russia and the United States.

The shtick lasted about a half hour before Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s political instincts took over and their first official summit press conference descended into farce.

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Read More The Trump-Putin statesman show soon turns knockabout

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