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

Clay Curtis
July 18, 2018

He said their discussions would involve trade, the military, missiles, nuclear weapons and China, including their "mutual friend" China's Xi Jinping.

The meeting comes as questions swirl about whether Mr Trump will sharply and publicly rebuke his Russian counterpart for the election meddling that prompted a special counsel probe which the U.S. leader has repeatedly labelled a "witch hunt".

Trump went on to say that "most importantly we have a lot of good things to talk about and things to talk about".

"That changed", Trump said, "As of about four hours ago".

This email will be delivered to your inbox once a day in the morning. I don't know what that strategic objective was.

The summit, which is being closely watched around the world, was not the first time Trump and Putin have held talks.

The Kremlin has also played down hopes that the odd couple will emerge from their first formal one-on-one summit with a breakthrough.

The Russian government allegedly interfered in the election in order to increase political instability in the United States and damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign by boosting other candidates Trump, Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.

"As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.' However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!", wrote the president, who has remained fixated on the exploits of his campaign two years ago.

Trump said, as he has countless times, that there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russians.

"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of USA foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" Russian Federation was suspended from the group in 2014 in response to its illegal annexation of Crimea.

Ahead of Trump-Putin meeting, lack of preparation leads to low expectations: Sources

The Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted back: "We agree".

Russian state-run news and propaganda sites also quickly seized on the news, with Kremlin-controlled Sputnik News reporting that Trump had "harshly criticized Washington's policy toward Moscow".

The president's comments to CBS come directly before Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday in Helsinki, Finland. "Shameful. Jaw-dropping. Disgraceful. I am running out of words to describe how despicable it is to see an American President capitulate to a dictator".

The reason for Putin's delay was not clear.

Putin also suggested Monday that Moscow and Washington could jointly conduct criminal investigations into a dozen Russian intelligence officials accused of hacking during the 2016 US election campaign - an idea Trump hailed as an "incredible offer". Although most US officials fault Russia's election interference, its alleged use of a nerve agent on British soil and its aggression in Ukraine and Syria, Trump instead faulted "U.S. foolishness and stupidity" in a tweet.

John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser, said on ABC that the United States was not looking for "deliverables", and that the meeting was going to be void of any specific structure.

On Friday, the Justice Department laid out details of what it said was a far-reaching hacking scheme in an indictment of 12 Russian agents whom it accused of trying to disrupt the US election. He did not commit to allowing the extradition of the Russian agents.

Ahead of the highly anticipated talks, he said has "low expectations" but added that he thinks that "maybe some good" will come of them. When asked about who he sees as the U.S.'s biggest foe, he said that the USA has "a lot of foes".

"There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world", he stated. "We are puzzled with many aspects of these investigations in the part that concerns us and our country, but let's leave it behind the brackets". "I think that's an incredible offer, OK?" It was a little bit tough at the beginning, but it turned out to be love.

"I will absolutely bring that up", Trump said of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

This article was written by Philip Rucker, Seung Min Kim and Anton Troianovski, reporters for The Washington Post.

Trump And Putin Begin Meeting In Helsinki
He said in the CBS interview that he's going into the meeting with "low expectations" but believes "it's a good thing to meet. It is in the interest of both our countries to continue this conversation and we will meet again in the future", Trump said.

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