MEP Paet: Trump, Putin's closed-door meeting increased confusion

22 July, 2018, 00:41 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • 68% of Republicans approve Trump's handling of summit, poll finds

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov revealed the discussions amid confusion and concern in the USA about what the two world leaders actually agreed upon behind closed doors.

"The sentence should have been: I don't see any reason why I wouldn't - or why it wouldn't be Russian Federation", the president said Tuesday before a meeting with Republican members of Congress.

This time they came from the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders who claimed that when the President said "no" he was declining to take further questions, not disagreeing with his own intelligence chiefs.

Five days after the two-hour Helsinki meeting, attended only by the two leaders and their interpreters, some United States officials remained in the dark about what was discussed.

One official, asked if the reaction to Helsinki would be a more organized process, said this is often how the White House operates. Once he got there, he returned to Twitter to complain about news coverage of Monday's meeting.

Trump again criticized previous presidents for their handling of Putin's government, describing predecessor Barack Obama as a "patsy" for the Russians.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: There's never been a president as tough on Russian Federation as I have been.

Mr Trump faced a backlash after contradicting his own intelligence chiefs at a joint post-summit news conference with Mr Putin by doubting Russian interference in the 2016 United States election.

A White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity did not specify if that included Russia's interference in U.S. elections.

When Coats pushed back at Trump's Monday statements siding with Putin on election interference, senior aides were fearful he might quit, according to the Post. "I actually think we'll have a good relationship". Nor did the White House have any real interagency meetings to plan last month's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. That's because nobody knows what happened during the private two-hour meeting. Here you have the man who oversees the government's vast intelligence apparatus, who on most days personally delivers the daily intelligence briefing to the president, openly correcting his boss.

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Bill Nelson in an expected close race, had already been distancing himself from his friend and political ally. I think it could well have been Russian Federation , but I think it could well have been other countries.

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The US President had also mentioned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign was "a disaster for our country", while also saying that it had negatively impacted US-Russia relations.

He did not elaborate on what Putin's solutions would be.

Ukraine and European powers are unlikely to support a referendum in the Donbass region, where pro-Russian separatists hold sway.

"The warning signs are there", he said.

Coats, the head of the US intelligence community and a chief adviser to the president on national security, learned of the proposed second meeting with Putin when the White House announced it on Twitter, while he was being interviewed at the Aspen conference.

"There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems ... but they can ALL be solved!"

Antonov said it's important to "deal with the results" of the leaders' first summit before jumping too fast into a new one.

But, he added, "Russia was always open to such proposals".

News of a second Trump-Putin summit came soon after the Senate voted unanimously to rebuke Putin's attempt to convince Trump to hand over current and former American officials for questioning - an offer Trump had previously called "incredible".

American intelligence agencies concluded past year that Russian Federation carried out a campaign of hacking and propaganda targeting the 2016 USA election, seeking to sow discord, disparage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and help Trump's candidacy.

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