Amid criticism at home, Trump eyes 2nd meeting with Putin
Amid criticism at home, Trump eyes 2nd meeting with Putin
US president Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki
20 July, 2018, 12:28
So for now, everyone but Trump and Putin and perhaps a handful of their close confidants are in the dark. If Putin's account of Trump's reaction is accurate, it would suggest a more flexible approach than the US has shown to date on the issue.
Dan Coats, President Donald Trump's director of national intelligence, doubled down Thursday in his criticism of the president ― specifically, Trump's apparent desire to downplay the matter of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. "But it's undeniable that the Russians are taking the lead on this".
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanderssaid in a Twitter post that Trump had directed national security adviser John Bolton to issue the invitation, even though USA lawmakers and top officials in Trump's administration have not been briefed on what Trump and Putin discussed in Monday's summit with only interpreters present. "There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems...but they can ALL be solved!"
But he was caught off guard in a live interview when told Putin was being invited to visit the U.S.in the fall.
"Well, you're right, I don't know what happened at that meeting", Dan Coats said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
The White House has faced an uproar over several issues from the summit including Trump's failure to confront Putin over American intelligence agencies' findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election and Putin's proposal that Russian authorities be allowed to question USA citizens. "I call on President Trump to say once and for all, not through his spokespeople, that the lopsided, disgraceful trade he called an "incredible offer" is off the table". It was Congress' first formal rebuke of Trump's actions from the summit and its aftermath.
Asked about the Putin invitation, Alaska Republican Sen.
"I don't know what happened in that meeting", he said. "They are the ones who are trying to wreak havoc over our election process".
Then on Tuesday, Trump backpedaled and said he misspoke. Democratic lawmakers have pushed to subpoena the notes of the State Department interpreter who translated for Trump or compel her to testify. "Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt".
As the furore grew on his return to the US, Mr Trump backtracked on his remarks, lashed out at "haters" who condemned his meeting, said he did hold Mr Putin personally responsible for election meddling, and rejected a proposal by Mr Putin that Russian Federation be allowed to question US citizens.
Earlier in the administration, Coats' voice was drowned out by the more outspoken Mike Pompeo, who was Central Intelligence Agency director before Trump tapped him as secretary of state.
Speaking at a meeting with ambassadors and permanent representatives in Moscow on Thursday, Putin accused forces in the U.S. of attempting to subvert relations between Washington and Moscow.
Putin: Powerful forces trying to sabotage US-Russia ties
At his joint news conference with Putin, Trump said they discussed Syria "at length" but was vague about the outcome. "And in that meeting, we discussed many , many things that were very, very positive for both countries", he said .
The Senate, though, made their stance on the suggestion official with a resolution introduced by Sens. "But that is the president's prerogative", Mr Coats added.
He also restated the US intelligence assessment about Russian meddling and Moscow's "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".
It was the latest about-face from the White House as it struggled to quiet the post-Helsinki summit uproar. But U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has given no public indication since the summit of plans to work more closely with the Russian military in Syria.
Indeed, when Trump came to office, many Russians hoped he would pave the way for lifting sanctions and ending years of tensions.
Still, Trump has expressed a preference for the White House setting for major meetings, including floating an invitation to Washington for North Korea's Kim Jong Un after their meeting in Singapore last month.
The zigzagging laid bare the White House's search for a path out of trouble that has dogged the administration's discussions of Russian Federation from the start, but spiraled after Trump's trip to Helsinki.
Corker said he has spoken with Sen.
Mr McFaul said the request from Mr Putin was "ridiculous", and it was also rubbished by the Senate, where all 98 politicians voted to support a resolution against allowing Russian Federation to question United States officials.
He added, "We will see how things develop further", expressing concern about unnamed "forces" in the USA trying to prevent any improvement in relations, notably cooperation in the Syria war or arms control.
So it seems like there might be some overlap, according to President Trump's tweet, and that they might really go for this Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, renewing it, which is actually an Obama administration accomplishment.
Trump's remarks during a joint press conference with Putin on Monday were widely condemned by both political parties.
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