Helsinki Summit: Protests continue as summit begins

by Leon Thompson July 18, 2018, 0:12
Helsinki Summit: Protests continue as summit begins

President Trump later tweeted to say that he has "great confidence" in his intelligence agencies.

Wallace also confronted Putin with the allegations laid out Friday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which fingered 12 Russian intelligence officers for directing the operation to steal emails from the DNC and the Clinton campaign and target USA election infrastructure.

He settled on a regular target for characterizing his Putin presser as anything less than a success - the media.

"Is it possible that Vladimir Putin brought a hypnotist to that meeting instead of a translator?"

Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, a golfing partner of the president, called the event a "missed opportunity" for Trump "to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections".

But Trump was also taking fire from Fox News hosts, including Shep Smith and Neil Cavuto, and members of his inner circle like Anthony Scaramucci and Newt Gingrich.

John McCain, the senior Republican senator, said Trump's seeming acceptance of Putin's denial was a historical "low point" for the United States presidency and the Helsinki summit between the two leaders a "tragic mistake".

Trump insisted that the meeting with Putin was a success. Brennan says, "It was nothing short of treasonous". He then showed clips of reporters criticizing Trump's comments.

However, Mr Trump found support from Republican Senator Rand Paul, who blamed "Trump derangement syndrome" for the criticism - prompting a supportive tweet from the president himself.

Trump, whose summit with Putin concluded a week-long Europe trip that included a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting and talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, pushed back on Tuesday at the storm of criticism, blaming media coverage.

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

He also said that Putin was "extremely strong and powerful in his denial" during the summit on Monday. He also attacked his Democratic opponents and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and he said when asked about the election meddling that he held both countries accountable for their state of relations.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford said he trusts USA intelligence teams "more than I trust a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin".

Taking direct issue with the president who appointed him, Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats said U.S. spy agencies have been "clear" and "fact-based" in their assessment that Moscow interfered in the presidential race two years ago - an assessment that Trump refused to endorse in Helsinki.

"I certainly don't trust President Putin when he said he wasn't responsible for the shooting down of MH17, which was four years ago today", Mr Turnbull said. "I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump had said, in a remark that stunned listeners and provoked outrage, even from many Republicans.

"President Trump hasn't been that masterful handling worldwide issues either, but in his way, he's trying to do something about the number of things, whether he's successful, I hope he's successful and I think all Americans will support him if he's successful", Tchantouridze said.

Trump and Putin spent 90 minutes together in private, just days after the U.S. president was urged to cancel the summit. "I think that's an incredible offer".

Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell drew a line in the sand, saying, "I've said a number of times and I say it again, the Russians are not our friends and I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community".

Just minutes before the press conference, a man holding a sign had a scuffle with security personnel and was escorted out of the room.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who served during the Obama administration, said it was 'truly unbelievable'.

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