Trump Appears To Contradict Intelligence Officials Again On Russia
Trump Appears To Contradict Intelligence Officials Again On Russia
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19 July, 2018, 15:57
In his attempt to walk back his Helsinki remarks, Trump said he accepts the consensus of American intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the election.
So, while standing next to the man who nearly certainly ordered the Russian interference in the USA election, Trump said he believes Putin over his own intelligence agencies.
Trump also said both countries were to blame for poor relations between the US and Russian Federation.
Facing the onslaught of criticism, Trump sought to clarify his remarks by telling reporters that when he said he saw no reason why Russian Federation "would" interfere, he meant to say he saw no reason why it "wouldn't" be Russian Federation, which led to another media frenzy.
Asked later in an interview with CBS News whether he held Putin personally responsible for meddling in the 2016 election, Trump said he did.
"I agree with John Brennan, who said that it was 'nothing short of treasonous, '" House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Wednesday. Russian officials have said they want to interview Kremlin critics Bill Browder and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
Hours earlier, ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega asked the president whether Russian Federation would still target American elections.
The remark generated headlines in USA media, because such an assessment would contradict the views of U.S. intelligence chief Dan Coats, who said on Monday that Russian Federation was involved in "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".
Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr Trump was saying "no" to answering more questions.
Sanders said Trump was still weighing the offer with his team, adding, "We've committed to nothing". "I was asking myself when you are going to ask him for an autograph or a selfie or something like that. It's called Trump Derangement Syndrome!" the president wrote.
In his first comments about the summit, Putin insisted that Russian Federation remains "open to contacts with the U.S".
The cable news morning show had played clips of the president's interview with CBS anchor Jeff Glor where Trump took a much tougher line on Putin.
But Texas Republican John Cornyn said the Senate should focus on "additional sanctions instead of just some messaging exercise".
Trump ignored shouted questions, including whether he would criticise Putin, as beleaguered White House media aides pushed reporters out the door of the Cabinet room.
But Ryan was bombarded with questions about Trump's Helsinki performance, whether it damaged American interests and whether Congress would do anything beyond expressing regret.
POTUS was immediately questioned on whether he had raised Russia's meddling in the United States election, and he pivoted to a weird rant about Hillary Clinton and the ongoing independent counsel investigation into his campaign's alleged collusion with Russian Federation.
Pressed on why Trump has repeatedly passed on opportunities to publicly condemn Putin's actions, Sanders suggested Trump was working to make the most of an "opportunity" for the two leaders to work together on shared interests. He made no commitment to bringing the measure up, however.
In this June 21, 2017, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington.
United States intelligence agencies have found evidence showing Russian agents actively interfered with the 2016 election.
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Trump did not respond; Putin appeared to smirk. "They do spy on us", Paul said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union". But Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike said that issue should be a basic starting point for the talks.
Asked if Trump felt the queen had liked him, he said: "Well I don't want to speak for her, but I can tell you I liked her". When asked if he discussed Brexit with the monarch when they met for tea at Windsor Castle on Friday, Trump said: "I did".
McConnell says there is "indisputable evidence" Russian Federation tried to affect the 2016 presidential election. Trump has denied collusion and casts Mueller's probe as a witchhunt that detracts from his election victory.
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