United States intel chief in tight spot over Trump and Russian Federation meddling

Alexei Nikolsky TASS via Getty Images First Lady Melania Trump US President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

Alexei Nikolsky TASS via Getty Images First Lady Melania Trump US President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

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.

Asked what he had said to Putin during a one-on-one meeting the two had in Helsinki on Monday, Trump replied: "Very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling, we can't have any of that". "So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes", Trump told CBS News in an interview.

Pushing back against criticism of first meeting, Trump accused the news media of trying to provoke a confrontation with Moscow that could lead to war, although concerns about the summit came have been raised by a broad cross-section of Republicans and Democrats. Trump has gone back and forth on what was said during the meeting and whether he believes Russian Federation meddled in the election on his behalf.

"I was absolutely appalled by what I heard at the White House today".

In an interview with Jeff Glor of CBS Evening News, which was released in part Wednesday evening, Trump was asked whether he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling in 2016. As Brian Bennett writes in this week's cover story, "A year and a half into his presidency, Trump's puzzling affinity for Putin has yet to be explained".

Critics have accused Mr Trump of siding with Russian Federation over his own country by failing to criticize Moscow for what US intelligence agencies previous year described as Russia's election interference in an attempt to sow discord, aid Trump's candidacy and disparage Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

This, however, seemed to put Trump once again in opposition to United States intelligence agencies, specifically an earlier statement by National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, who said Moscow was involved in "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

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The blocking statute is due to enter force on August 6, when the first set of USA sanctions are due. According to Lavrov, the decision particularly concerns small and medium-sized companies.

Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul described the White House's consideration of allowing Russian prosecutors to interview him on grounds that he allegedly subverted the Kremlin as "outrageous". "It is why I believe we are at a critical point", Coats said on Friday.

Later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sought to clarify Trump's comments, saying his "no" meant that he was not taking any questions from reporters.

An American wanted by the Russian government has become the subject of global diplomacy for the second time in a week. The global auto industry is a complicated checkerboard though, with several foreign firms producing cars in US states. "Putin is really, really mad and he really wants to get his hands on me". Numerous stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction.

While praising his current intelligence team, Trump took aim at former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper - both harsh critics of the president. Trump shook his head and said, "No".

In this June 21, 2017, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington. "What we intend to do is make sure they don't get away with it again and also to help our allies".

But after the briefing, Trump issued a statement spreading the blame among "Russia, China and other countries, outside groups and countries".

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