Trump's 'no' about Russian interference requires more clarification

Hannah Rogers
July 19, 2018

On Monday, President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland for a summit that comes in the midst of an FBI investigation into allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump stunned the world by shying away from criticising the Russian leader for Moscow's actions to undermine the election and cast doubt on U.S. intelligence agencies, prompting calls by some United States lawmakers for tougher sanctions and other actions to punish Russia.

"The president hopes to open up a number of different markets and to create a more [level] trading field across the globe", said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

"Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russian Federation...they would rather go to war than see this".

"And I have felt very strongly that while Russia's actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying that - and I've said this many times - I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place".

Mr. Brennan said Mr. Trump was "way, way out of his depth" meeting one-on-one with the "master manipulator", Mr. Putin.

Republicans and Democrats accused him of siding with an adversary rather than his own country.

The president went on to insist he had "full faith and support for America's intelligence agencies".

President Trump has been under fire from Democrats and Republicans for his remarks Monday, when he equated the USA intelligence community with Putin.

Some lawmakers said they would seek remedies in Congress.

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Several senators from both parties backed tougher sanctions on Russian Federation, but it was unclear if Republican congressional leaders would support such a move or what new sanctions might be crafted.

On Tuesday, after returning to Washington and facing the resulting uproar, Trump partially reversed himself, saying he misspoke - that when he dais he saw no reason why Russian Federation would interfere in USA elections, he actually meant "wouldn't".

Congress overwhelmingly passed a sanctions law a year ago targeting Moscow for election meddling.

Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the first step was to get Pompeo to appear, "hopefully" next week. "I'm not sure we can change his mind about it, but I'll tell you, we can pass a law that does something about it".

As some senators discuss slapping new sanctions on Moscow, President Donald Trump is defending his widely panned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, tweeting he had a "great" meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies but an "even better" one with the Russian president.

"We don't want to do a "ready, fire, aim" thing". They said they think it's Russian Federation.

"While I had a great meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia", Trump tweeted, accusing the "Fake News" of "going insane!" with its Helsinki fallout coverage.

In the Senate, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials to appear before Congress and tell exactly what happened during Trump's two-hour private session with Putin.

Trump on Monday called the Mueller probe into Russian meddling "a disaster for our country".

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