Who's wooing who in the Trump-Putin relationship?

Clay Curtis
July 21, 2018

Exactly what Mr. Trump and Putin discussed, and what agreement or agreements they reached, has been the topic of much discussion and confusion.

Following the two leaders' press conference in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, some pundits and Democratic lawmakers suggested that Trump was "treasonous" or a "traitor" for appearing to side with Putin, rather than with the USA intelligence community, on Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.

A day after his meeting with Putin, Trump "clarified" his statements at a press conference saying he had full faith in the conclusion of USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 United States election.

Heilemann suggested that President Trump did not inform Coats on goal.

Russian Federation is ready to discuss a proposed new meeting between Putin and Trump, Interfax news agency cited Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, as saying on Friday.

The White House rejected on Friday a Vladimir Putin-backed effort to hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine on the region's future, distancing itself from the idea in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's controversial summit with the Russian leader.

In the middle of the interview, Mitchell broke the news that the White House had invited Putin for a meeting in the United States.

Hurd, who sits on the House Intelligence Community, wrote that "by playing into Vladimir Putin's hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes overseas". Among other things, he indicated on the heels of their summit in Helsinki that he sympathized with Putin over the U.S. intelligence community on the issue of Russian election meddling.

During a joint news conference after their summit this week in Finland, Putin used soccer metaphors and was handed a soccer ball that he tossed to Trump.

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He said, "I have spoken about the Prime Minister and that he can not face me or stare me in my eyes". Because the moment they lose power, other processes will start against them.

Coats went on to describe Russian Federation as the most aggressive state actor attempting to interfere in U.S. affairs.

Putin echoed Trump's sentiment, saying: "There was no solid reason behind the current tensions between our two countries".

According to the Post, Trump aides feared Coats might resign earlier in the week, prompting the president to praise the director in a CBS interview on Wednesday.

Never mind that the White House has spent three days trying to clean up the political fallout from the summit amid bipartisan criticism, or that the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in 2016 continues apace.

Even before the visit, the USA senators and 18 Democratic members of the House committee on foreign affairs have called on Trump to call off the meeting with Putin.

A short time later, the White House made another announcement revealing that President Putin had been invited to visit Washington in the autumn.

And that's the news on USA national intelligence for the day.

"The added funds will provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs, including capabilities to enhance Ukraine's command and control, situational awareness systems, secure communications, military mobility, night vision, and military medical treatment", the Pentagon said in a statement.

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