Onetime political foe Rand Paul stands as Trump's fiercest defender on Russian Federation

Ruben Holloway
July 18, 2018

While many in the media were excoriating President Donald Trump for his weird comments during the press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a new poll shows how Americans saw the episode.

McConnell's words came just minutes before President Donald Trump was expected to speak about the Helsinki summit on Monday.

Russian president Vladimir Putin called Donald Trump a competent leader, with headlines calling out that: 'good results were reached, ' 'Trump considers Putin a strong leader, ' and that 'Russian annexation of Crimea is not off the table'.

"Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!'" the President tweeted.

Some U.S. lawmakers have suggested passing resolutions voicing support for intelligence agencies, or spending more to enhance election security and prevent cyber attacks.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from the White House, said Trump "was sticking to the script" in his comments on Tuesday - a rare occurrence.

Facing withering criticism over Monday's deferential joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, President Trump asserted Tuesday that he misspoke when he said that Russia had not interfered with the USA presidential election.

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Earlier in the day, Trump said on Twitter that the meeting between the two world leaders went "better than even expected". The Wisconsin Republican said "there is no question" Russian Federation interfered in the elections and said there is "no moral equivalence" between the two countries.

He said the media have failed to indicate Trump is trying to "ease tensions" with Russian Federation, which he noted holds a massive stockpile of nuclear weapons.

"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.' Sort of a double negative", he added - repeating the laborious clarification several times.

Trump said the summit with Putin still "was our most successful visit" on his European trip.

"My people came to me - [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others - they said they think it's Russian Federation".

"Canada is in a particularly exposed position compared to other western allies because of our trade dependence on the United States", Paris said.

"I think that probably clarifies things", he said. The sentence should have been, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation.

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Tom Swarbrick, former adviser to Theresa May , told Euronews that Trump's comments were "the worst possible start to the trip". They gathered under a big "baby Trump " blimp, showing him snarling and holding a mobile phone, dressed in only a nappy.


Trump's praise for Putin highlights the gap between the president and the rest of his administration when it comes to Russian Federation, a divide that has left European allies scratching their heads.

Trump ignored shouted questions, including whether he would criticise Putin, as beleaguered White House media aides pushed reporters out the door of the Cabinet room.

Democrats want Trump to detail all topics discussing during the meeting, including any "suggestions" Trump made to Putin.

Mrs Trump smiles warmly as President Trump shakes the Russian President's hand, before directing him to his wife.

Putin, for his part, said he and Trump have maintained regular contact through phone calls and meetings at global events but "the time has come to have a thorough discussion on various worldwide problems and sensitive issues".

Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.

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