President Trump accepts Putin's denials of election meddling, prompting lawmaker outrage

Arturo Kim
July 18, 2018

"I think Brennan is a very bad guy, and if you look at it, a lot of things happened under his watch", Trump told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview set to be aired Tuesday night.

At the summit, Mr Putin again denied meddling in the United States election, and in a later interview dismissed longstanding reports that Russian intelligence may hold compromising material on Mr Trump.

Mr Trump said: "I realise there's a need for some clarification", adding that what he meant "should have been obvious - I thought it would be obvious but would like to clarify in case it wasn't".

The special counsel investigating potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin on Friday charged a dozen Russian military intelligence officers with hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign and then releasing the stolen communications online as part of a sweeping conspiracy to meddle in the election.

"Canada has been unequivocal in our condemnation of Vladimir Putin and Russian Federation", said Trudeau in Sutherlands River, N.S.

"I've said this many times", Trump said.

Trump's remarks have drawn widespread criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

During a high-profile meeting in Helsinki on Monday, Trump said he didn't see "any reason why" Russian Federation would have interfered in the 2016 US election, despite the findings from his own intelligence agencies.

Reading from a prepared statement, he said he meant to say he didn't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation.

Putin proposed that same plan after they met at a Group of Seven summit in Germany past year.

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Trump strikes back at critics of Helsinki summit with Putin
"I will begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies, I always have", Mr. In fact, the reaction back home has been immediate and visceral, among fellow Republicans as well as usual Trump critics.


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Some lawmakers said they would seek remedies in Congress.

After meeting privately with Putin for two hours in Helsinki, Trump said he held both the United States and Russian Federation responsible for the deterioration in relations between the two countries.

"Zero collusion", Trump said.

The New York Democrat says it is "thoughtless, unsafe and weak" for Trump to take Putin's word that Russian Federation didn't meddle in the 2016 USA elections.

Republican lawmakers including House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker all publicly criticised Trump for his performance.

Aside from questions over the election, the United States and Russia remain far apart on major issues, such as the Syria conflict, Russia's annexation of Crimea, and the USA backing for the UK over the poisoning of a former Russian spy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Trump's "weakness in front of Putin" proves the Russians have damaging information on him.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., tweeted, "This is shameful." Sen.

Putin noted that Russia would expect the U.S.to return the favor and cooperate in the Russian probe against William Browder, a British investor charged in financial crimes in Russia.

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