Trump Again Breaks With Intel Chief Over Russia

Clay Curtis
July 20, 2018

On Monday, Trump appeared to accept Putin's denial of Russian interference in the United States 2016 presidential election at their joint press conference in Helsinki, sparking uproar in Washington.

At the press conference with Mr. Putin, Mr. Trump refused to directly say Russian Federation was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee and meddling with the 2016 presidential election.

President Donald Trump has instructed National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington this fall and "discussions are already underway", according to a tweet from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump's assertion came as his hand-picked Federal Bureau of Investigation director, Christopher Wray, told NBC News that Russia's efforts to subvert US elections remain "very active".

Donald Trump once valued being on the cover of TIME magazine so much he put a fake version in seven of his golf courses.

The White House on Wednesday declined to rule out accepting a Russian proposal for the questioning in the United States of Americans sought by the Kremlin for "illegal activities", including a former US ambassador to Moscow. "The president and his administration are working very hard to make sure that Russian Federation is unable to meddle in our elections as they have done in the past".

Mr Trump has since done an about-face and said he meant to say he saw no reason why it "wouldn't" be Russian Federation, when he said that he saw no reason why it "would" be Russian Federation.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, seemed to feel that the talks in Finland with Russian president Vladimir Putin were fruitful and underappreciated. And people understand. I think the press largely makes up a lot of the fuss about a lot of things.

The former Democratic presidential nominee added that he didn't believe Trump's later statement on Tuesday in which he claimed that he meant to say that he didn't see any reason why election interference "wouldn't" have been committed by Russian Federation - after initially saying the opposite.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump attend a meeting in Helsinki

Mr Putin has denied the allegations.

"We're doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russian Federation".

"I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said in Helsinki.

Both Trump and Putin earlier on Thursday praised their first meeting as a success and blamed forces in the United States for trying to belittle its achievements.

Trump briefed on Putin's role in Russian interference 2 weeks before taking office.

Trump appeared to directly contradict what Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, has said on the matter.

He also restated the US intelligence assessment about Russian meddling and Moscow's "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

"WH press sec Sanders acknowledged that Putin talked to Trump about his interest in prosecuting financier Bill Browder and former USA ambassador Michael McFaul. she declined to rule out United States cooperation in that effort, saying Trump would consult his national security team", Harwood tweeted.

Hallie Jackson, NBC News' White House correspondent, along with other reporters, went back and forth with Sanders at least 16 times over what the president meant by his comment.

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