United States won't recognize Crimea annexation; Trump-Putin II delayed

Hugh Fox
July 26, 2018

The invitation sparked a new outcry, including from lawmakers in Trump's Republican party, who argued that Putin is an adversary not worthy of a White House visit and that they still did not know what the leaders had discussed during their two-hour, one-on-one meeting.

The statement was released shortly before Mr Pompeo was due to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he is expected to face tough questioning about President Donald Trump's summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

President Vladimir Putin gifted a soccer ball to US President Donald Trump during a joint press conference and summit in Helsinki.

"It's the president that causes people to have concerns", Corker said. Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday that Mr Putin would not be invited to address Congress should he accept Mr Trump's invitation, calling it a privilege reserved for allies.

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"Presidents are entitled to have private meetings, I'm telling you what USA policy is here", Pompeo said. "President Trump believes that two great nuclear powers should not have such a contentious relationship".

"In concert with allies, partners, and the worldwide community, the United States rejects Russia's attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine's territorial integrity is restored", Mr Pomeo said.

The remarks and Trump's overall performance - both at the Helsinki meeting with Putin and during the two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels the previous week - stunned diplomatic, security and intelligence experts in the US and around the world.

Mr Trump has always been seeking to bring Mr Putin to Washington for a meeting.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday, prior to the announcement, that the US would never recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea and demanded that Ukraine's territorial integrity be restored.

Pompeo said Trump accepts the US intelligence conclusion that Putin interfered, although Trump just days ago called the claims of Russian interference a "big hoax". Putin described the first summit as "successful" and accused unnamed "forces" within the U.S. of preventing an improvement in U.S. -Russia relations. A pending proposal is also being pushed forward to sway the Trump administration to make these sanctions mandatory, as well as stricter repercussions for the Russian officials who interfered.

The expression of concern about Russian meddling is a change in tone for the president, who has repeatedly expressed doubts about Russia's role in interfering in the 2016 USA election.

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey also wrote a letter to the White House urging Trump to act on the recent arrests. Camerota added, "They don't want the public to see that anymore, so they have taken that out of the official record of what happened".

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