After Helsinki, U.S. intel chief defends findings on Russian meddling

Geraldine Edwards
July 18, 2018

"President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin". He said US officials could request to be present at such questioning in line with a 1999 agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal cases.

Even Fox News, accused by Democrats of being a propaganda network for Trump, had several anchors blasting the president. On Monday, however, Trump refused to condemn the attack or even accept Russian Federation was behind it. Asked if Russian Federation was at all to blame for the poor ties, he said: "I hold both countries responsible".

It was a "bad day" for the United States, Graham said, "that "can (and) must be fixed". "I thought the two have a very good relationship, which we all want".

"I do feel that we have both made some mistakes". He stressed that there was "no collusion at all", which he said was "the main thing".

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The Arizona Republican and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee added that Trump is unwilling to stand up to Putin. Seventy-one percent of Clinton voters consider Trump's handling of Russian Federation to present a very serious problem, compared to the 57 percent of Trump voters who don't believe it's a problem at all.

Trump's trip to Belgium, Britain and Finland was marked by his frequent taunts and threats aimed at America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, a sharp contrast to his unrestrained bid to curry favour with Russian Federation despite the conclusion by USA intelligence agencies that Moscow meddled in the 2016 US election to aid his candidacy. Apparently last week's announcement by Rod Rosenstein, the USA deputy attorney general, that a group of Russian intelligence officers had been "charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election" does not constitute any reason whatsoever. Putin alleged that USA intelligence officers helped Magnitsky transfer a "huge amount of money, $400 million as a contribution to the campaign of [Democratic Party candidate and former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton". "But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

Mr Putin reiterated that Russian Federation had never interfered in USA affairs.

The tweeted defence came a day after Trump openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' findings that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 US election to his benefit, and he seemed to accept Putin's insistence that Moscow's hands were clean.

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The special counsel's continuing Russia investigation has laid out a detailed trail of attempts and successes by Russians to steal Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign communications and to leak embarrassing emails and documents.

"Where is the server?" he asked. "I don't see any reason why it would be". "I really believe that". "I think that's an incredible offer, OK?"

Senator Chuck Schumer of NY, the minority leader, said never in the history of the country has a president supported an American adversary the way Trump supported Putin. For two years, Trump has faced claims that he was beholden to Russian Federation and in some intangible way even controlled by it. Monday's press conference did nothing to banish this impression.

Fox Business Channel's Neil Cavuto said he'll give Trump the benefit of the doubt that maybe he was suffering from jet lag or other problems related to the time difference in Helsinki.

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"Let's take the [recent] St. Petersburg Economic Forum", Putin then digressed. I don't even remember the last names of each and every one of them. What, do you think our country's so innocent?

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