Trudeau walks fine line with condemnation of Putin, silence on Trump

Nellie Chapman
July 20, 2018

John Brennan, the Central Intelligence Agency director under Obama, tweeted that "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous".

Posting on Twitter, Mr Trump said people "who wanted to see a boxing match" were bothered by his rapport with Mr Putin.

His comments came - amid rising rebuke by his own party - about 27 hours after his original, widely reported statement, which he made at a summit Monday in Helsinki standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Let me start with the fact that again, there is full trust and support of the us intelligence services, I trust our intelligence..." - began to tell trump to investigate us intelligence case against Russian intervention in the United States elections in 2016.

Trump said he accepted the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation had meddled in the election, and offered a rambling explanation of his assertion that he could not see "any reason" why Russian Federation would interfere. But then he veered off the script that was written for him and suggested that others may have interfered in the election.

"I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be", he said on Monday in Finland.

"We need to be working feverishly here to harden our defenses", Graham said after delivering an impassioned floor speech late Tuesday.

"Russia is an adversary, and our intelligence agencies concluded that they meddled in the 2016 election", said Blackburn, who is running to succeed GOP Sen.

The president's response to a reporter's question came a day after he walked back his public doubting of USA intelligence findings of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. "This, apparently, intelligence services", commented trump. He said he misspoke by one word when he said he saw no reason to believe Russian Federation had interfered in the 2016 US election.

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Trump said he misspoke and used the word "would" instead of "wouldn't" when referring to whether he thought Russian Federation had meddled in US elections. "Lots of other people out there".

McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who called Russia's government "menacing", said their chambers could consider additional sanctions on Russian Federation.

"I'm pleased that the Senate Majority Leader understands that passage of the bill would send an important message to Russian Federation or any other country that we take the sanctity of our electoral process seriously", Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

Braun's statement avoided any challenge to the US intelligence community conclusion that Russian Federation interfered in the election.

Some such as former Canadian ambassador Ferry de Kerckhove would like to see Trudeau work with allies to take a more assertive stand with Trump when it comes to defending shared values, which he argued is easier now than ever with North American free trade talks having stalled. Pompeo is to publicly testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 25.

Some lawmakers said they would seek remedies against Russian Federation in Congress. He also went after his Justice Department, calling its investigation into Russia's efforts and potential collusion with Trump's campaign a "disaster for our country".

"It's nearly as if Donald Trump is embracing Putin's knees".

It wasn't just what Trump said in Helsinki, it was how he acted - like a supplicant to Putin - and that's the most troubling part.

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