Despite summit criticism, Trump looks to next Putin meeting

Hugh Fox
July 21, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the recent meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump a "success", but he warned about resistance in Washington to implement the agreements reached between the two leaders.

Trump is attacking media outlets, saying that the, quote, "fake news media" is the real enemy of the people.

On Monday, Trump tried to walk back his remark that he didn't see any reason why Russian Federation would have meddled in the 2016 election, after intelligence officials and lawmakers of both parties decried his comments as treasonous.

During an interview with CBS News, Mr Trump said he held Mr Putin personally responsible for interfering in the election, and that he was "very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling".

President Trump said: "My people came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation".

A former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, says Putin is obsessed with an imaginary scheme to undermine the Russian government that McFaul supposedly conducted from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and McFaul anxious about Trump permitting this whole story to take flight.

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Pushing back against criticism of his Putin meeting, Trump said Thursday he wants another meeting with Putin to start implementing ideas they discussed in Helsinki, casting the summit as a starting point for progress on a number of shared concerns.

"Of course, it remains to be seen how the situation will develop, especially given that certain forces in America are trying to belittle and undermine the results of the meeting", he said.

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"Trump's behaviour was a total disaster for long-term prospects of the normalization of the U.S. -Russia relationship", said Alexander Gabuev of the Carnegie Moscow Center. The White House retreated from what Trump had called Putin's "incredible offer" during the Helsinki summit, revising its position just before the Senate voted overwhelmingly against the plan.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has spent the week mounting a fierce defense of Trump's outreach to Putin, objected to a proposal from Sen.

The White House is facing further criticism for not ruling out a Russian proposal to question United States citizens accused by the Kremlin of "illegal activities".

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Mr Trump has since done an about-face and said he meant to say he saw no reason why it "wouldn't" be Russian Federation, when he said that he saw no reason why it "would" be Russian Federation.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that meeting may come this fall. If he actually believes that there is no more Moscow's meddling in the United States and no more attacks, what exactly will his administration be doing on that matter?

In Moscow, Putin slammed Trump's domestic opponents as "pathetic, worthless people" who were "ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own ambitions".

"Absolutely. I'm quite sure that, you know, the Finns did", Clapper said.

U.S. Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel earlier Thursday told reporters that any U.S. military coordination with the Russian military in Syria would require congressional approval or a waiver.

Clapper hit back Thursday: "I think the feeling is mutual". But he says Trump "is not making the problem better". Still, Trump backtracked on whether Russian Federation is now targeting USA elections.

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