Trump Walks Back Controversial Comments On Russian Election Interference

Arturo Kim
July 21, 2018

Flake said he has spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the resolution but stopped short of saying that McConnell was in support of the move.

The President of the European Commission (EC), Jean-Claude Juncker, denounced today USA efforts to split the EU countries up regarding the commercial policy.

Even some faithful Trump backers have blasted the president over his remarks in Helsinki.

"We need to be working feverishly here to harden our defenses", Graham said after delivering an impassioned floor speech late Tuesday.

By dusk, hundreds of activists, led by attorney Michael Avenatti and actress Alyssa Milano, staged a protest near the White House, with chants of "traitor!" echoing along Pennsylvania Avenue. But this reference to diplomatic success carried an edge, too, since the barrage of criticism and insults he delivered in Brussels and London was hardly well-received.

While Congress has approved, nearly unanimously and with votes from both Republicans and Democrats, new sets of sanctions on Russia, Trump has tried to veto them, and when the vote came veto-proof to his desk, Trump chose not to impose any of the sanctions that Congress had recommended. Trump was offered multiple opportunities to speak truth to power, or semi-power, and strongly denounce Russia's actions, but instead he placed blame on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and said that he had confidence in both parties - the USA intelligence community and Russian Federation. Marco Rubio and Maryland Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., to deter future Russian interference by ordering sanctions against countries if they do.

Republicans may have been relieved, but they still have questions about that two hour meeting with Putin.

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he's looking at whether it would be appropriate to ask for any notes taken by the interpreter who was in the room during the private meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has dismissed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into election meddling and collusion with his administration as a "witch hunt".

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The attempted clarification did not persuade critics who said Trump is more supportive of adversaries such as Putin than of allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But even that largely symbolic measure was blocked party-line by Republicans.

"They're not saying don't do this or this is the wrong thing to do", Flake said. "Directly contradicted by DNI Coats, who just sounded the alarm about Russia's 'ongoing, ' pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

At their Helsinki meeting a day earlier, Trump failed to challenge Putin over the 2016 presidential election, seeming to accept at face value the strongman´s denial that Moscow interfered in a bid to undermine the Democrat Hillary Clinton.

She called for Trump's interpreter for the Putin meeting to testify before Congress.

But he refused to reverse other comments in which he backed Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial of Russian involvement.

At a White House meeting with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, Trump said that after he reviewed a transcript of his Helsinki remarks, he said he realized he misspoke.

In the aftermath of his Helsinki meeting with Putin, Trump asserted Wednesday that no other American president has been as "tough" on Russian Federation as he has been. That's the part he corrected on Tuesday.

In a sign of the EU's deepening alarm about Trump's unilateral approach, the paper argues that the White House is again risking the US's global reputation.

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Only this time the subject isn't Charlottesville or David Duke; it's America's national security. "These actions are persistent". But during his CBS chat on Wednesday, Trump went as far as saying he personally confronted Putin when they met in Helsinki.

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"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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