Amid criticism at home, Trump eyes 2nd meeting with Putin

Nellie Chapman
July 20, 2018

President Donald Trump "disagrees" with Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to allow the question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election in exchange for permitting Russia to interview Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes, the White House said Thursday.

But Mr Trump rejected Mr Putin's offer to allow the USA to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election after fierce criticism from Republicans and Democrats.

At a post-summit news conference with Putin, Trump responded to a question about Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election by casting doubt on the findings of his own intelligence agencies and denouncing the "stupidity" of USA policies.

Ahead of the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly called on President Donald Trump to personally reject Putin's proposal.

In another interview to Hugh Hewitt Show, he refused to divulge details about the summit meeting that Trump had with Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

Also on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied the Russian request, saying "the administration is not gonna send, force Americans to travel to Russia to be interrogated by Vladimir Putin and his team".

Mr Trump may have been encouraged by recent opinion polling showing that while the public at large is uneasy with Mr Trump's Russian Federation policies, his Republican base - by a sizeable majority - is fine with his performance.

Colbert then gave Trump some alternatives to being chummy with Putin.

"The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation, ' " he said.

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"The ball's in your court", said Putin with an air of forced joviality as he presented Trump with a gift to mark their meeting.

The White House was once again sent into clean-up mode Wednesday when Trump said "no" when a reporter asked him if Russian Federation was still targeting the United States.

Earlier in the administration, Coats' voice was drowned out by the more outspoken Mike Pompeo, who was Central Intelligence Agency director before Trump tapped him as secretary of state.

Mr McFaul said the request from Mr Putin was "ridiculous", and it was also rubbished by the Senate, where all 98 politicians voted to support a resolution against allowing Russian Federation to question U.S. officials.

The White House's belated remarks came after the Russian Prosecutor General's Office on Tuesday reportedly requested to question several USA individuals over their criminal behaviors in Russia.

Unlike many of his colleagues who chose to issue tepid statements protesting the appeasement of Russian Federation without mentioning Trump by name, Hurd writes that as a congressman, "I believe that lawmakers must fulfill our oversight duty as well as keep the American people informed of the current danger".

"We will see how things develop further", Putin said, citing unnamed "forces" in the U.S. trying to prevent any improvement in relations and "putting narrow party interests above the national interest". He restated the US intelligence assessment about Russian meddling and Moscow's "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy". "We are doing MUCH better than any other country!"

The U.S. -Russia relationship is "in some ways worse than during the Cold War", Putin said, "It's naive to think that the problems would be solved in a few hours". She said at the Aspen Forum that Russian Federation is attempting to "cause chaos on both sides".

Mueller is investigating possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

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