A daytime news anchor, Bill Hemmer, kicked off the postgame show by calling the event “fascinating” — Lester Holt of NBC News used the same descriptor — and went on to give a nuts-and-bolts summary of the highlights. Bret Baier, the network’s chief political anchor, called it “quite something — almost surreal at points.”
But Daniel Hoffman, a former C.I.A. station chief and Fox News contributor, was unsparing when he attacked a Putin proposal that Mr. Trump had embraced: that Russia might cooperate with the United States in investigating breaches of its election security.
“From my perspective as an intelligence officer, it’s like inviting a criminal to help you solve a crime you know that they committed,” Mr. Hoffman said. His interlocutor, Mr. Hemmer, seemed taken aback. “So you don’t believe in that,” he said, after an awkward pause.
Later, Mary Kissel, a Wall Street Journal editorial board member, took issue with the Fox News anchor Sandra Smith’s optimistic account of the news conference, asking, “Where is the evidence that we can trust Putin to follow through on what he says?”
John Roberts, the network’s chief White House correspondent, weighing in from Helsinki, offered a different view of why the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, may not cooperate with Russia on any investigation: “There are some people who might say it’s because Mueller doesn’t want to know the truth,” Mr. Roberts said.
Journalists were once again the target of Mr. Trump’s grievances during his time in Helsinki. Standing beside Mr. Putin at the news conference, he lumped “the media” in with Democrats and “partisan critics” as naysaying obstructors to his presidency. His comment came a day after he had revived his “enemy of the people” attack on the press in a much-discussed tweet.