Americans give Trump negative marks for Helsinki performance

Hannah Rogers
July 23, 2018

Mr Trump asserted on Wednesday at the White House that no other American president has been as tough on Russian Federation.

Trump and Coats appeared to be at odds in the aftermath of the President's meeting with Putin at the beginning of the week.

Trump waited 27 hours, sent five tweets and sat for two television interviews after his initial comments in Helsinki before claiming he'd used a confusing "double negative" and meant "would" instead of "wouldn't" in a key sentence at his press conference about who was responsible for election meddling.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats spoke at a security forum in Aspen on Thursday, July 19, 2018. "If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way".

"The evidence is overwhelming", South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said on "Fox News Sunday". "It can be proven beyond any evidentiary burden that Russian Federation is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016", Gowdy explained.

Mr Trump has also received damning comments from the former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, who said the President's conduct at the summit conference was "treasonous".

"The Summit with Russian Federation was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media", Trump said.

He tweeted: "I had a GREAT meeting with Putin and the Fake News used every bit of their energy to try and disparage it". The meeting came just days after the special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers suspected of playing a role in the hack of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 United States election.

Trump offers fresh defence of summit with Putin
But Mr Trump is known for weathering a storm, and even Trump Derangement Syndrome may not be able to bring him down. Handley, who retired as a chief petty officer, said she started serving under President Ronald Reagan.

'Say that again. Did I hear you?' he asked, appearing amused. Of those surveyed, 40% think that Trump went too far in his support, 15% said he didn't go far enough, and 35% found the support for Putin was about right.

"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 have said this many times, I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place".

So there's ample reason for journalists to try to ask again: "Is Russia still targeting the United States?"

Asked by Stephanopoulos whether Rice thinks Trump is "compromised by Russian Federation", she said she doesn't "know what his motivations are".

Rice said she's "not opposed to the notion of engaging the Russians", but said that a second summit between the two leaders doesn't "make sense".

"So I think what President Trump ought to continue doing is acting tough and talking in ways that advance the US interest in the Middle East, China and elsewhere around the world", Bossert concluded.

Barletta also sounded different than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said "the European countries are our friends, and the Russians are not" following a trip in which Trump also harshly criticized traditional allies at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit over what Trump called "delinquent" defense spending. He actually imposed a series of sanctions supported by the Freedom Support Act that I helped write and did a series of executive orders.

Stephanopoulos asked Rice about an interview Trump did with CNBC on Friday in which he said, "Obama was a patsy for Russian Federation".

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