Trump says he misspoke in Helsinki, expresses confidence in USA intelligence

Dean Simpson
July 18, 2018

During his news conference along side Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Trump stated he didn't see "any reason" why Russian Federation was responsible for hacking the 2016 election, as USA intelligence agencies have found. He also added, "Could be other people also". There are a lot of people out there. "There was no collusion at all".

Still, Canadian officials were hard at work trying to get a better sense of what was said during the two-hour, closed-door meeting between Putin and Trump - and what ramifications, if any, the discussion would have for Canada.

That NATO reference carried an edge, too, since the barrage of criticism and insults he delivered in Brussels in London was hardly well-received.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. "Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going insane!" Despite the best intentions of some Republican officials, the party of militant anticommunism has become the party of moral equivalence-an inevitable outcome of their acquiescence to Mr. Trump in 2016.

He emphasized his support for USA spy agencies. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican who represents Maine's 2nd District and is up for re-election in November, made perhaps his most forceful statement to date about Russia's interference but did not criticize the president directly.

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called Russia's government "menacing" and said they could consider additional sanctions on Russian Federation.

In a tweet, Mr Trump alluded to last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, which ended with him saying he had secured extra money for defence - something disputed by allies in the Western military alliance.


Senators had floated a similar idea earlier, but The No. 2 Republican, Sen. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating any potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and the Kremlin.

Updates with additional Trump remarks beginning with second paragraph. A wary and robust stance toward Russian Federation has been a bedrock of his party's world view.

The foreign policy trajectory of the Trump presidency is clear.

Sen. Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been briefed extensively on the matter, said there is no doubt Russian Federation meddled in the election that saw Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton more than 18 months ago.

As for the accusation of Russian election meddling, Trump said: "I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

"There are a number of things that were said that I think really make us wonder what [Trump's] role is with the Russians and frankly what the Russians expect out of him", Albright said. Few of Trump's utterances in the 2016 campaign seem more prophetic than his observation that "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters".

That last sentence was what he corrected Tuesday.

His Monday statement drew a quick rebuttal from his director of national Intelligence, Dan Coats.


But while the United States leader expressed his "full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies", he insisted that "Russia's actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election".

Trump, the first lady, Shine and Miller were seen in animated conversation aboard Marine One when they arrived to the White House South Lawn on Monday evening.

The Democratic mayor and frequent Trump critic doesn't think the Republican president did so hot.

By Tuesday afternoon when he faced the cameras, Trump had changed tack.

Back at the White House, Paul's comments drew a presidential tweet of gratitude.

However, Trump stopped short of condemning Russian Federation and noted that other actors could have been responsible in meddling with the election.

Trump also at varying times in his European trip disparaged the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, which was formed to counter the former Soviet Union.

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. President Putin is going to be involved in the sense that he is with us.


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