Washington reacts to Trump-Putin press conference with dismay

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 18, 2018

The White House has struggled for months to dispel suggestions that Trump was unwilling to stand up to Russian Federation.

He cited Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denials of such interference during their meeting.

Referencing the Steele dossier that suggested the Russians collected "kompromat" on Trump during his stay in Moscow years before he became president, Putin stated he had no idea Trump was in town and didn't really care that he was, much less wanting to gather dirt on him. "They have beaten and harassed USA diplomats and violated anti-proliferation treaties".

The press conference also touched briefly on policy issues, such as Syria and trade. Just that both parties wanted to have one. And I think we can hopefully do something about that.

Critics were quick to slam Trump's performance at the summit and news conference, with Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan calling Trump's performance "treasonous".

It's one thing not to believe US intelligence.

Any politicians worth their salt need to know how to duck hard questions from journalists, and U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin amply proved their political worth at the joint press conference following their summit on July 16 in Helsinki.

Trump called it 'an incredible offer'.

"I did hear this rumor that we allegedly collected compromising material when President Trump was in Moscow..."

The White House did not say who would attend the meeting or its subject. He gave granular detail in the indictment of how the operation was done. He just said it's not Russian Federation. In November 2017, the Russian and USA heads of state held a brief meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam, adopting a joint statement on Syria.

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In a weekend interview with CBS News, Trump admitted that Russian Federation remains a foe, but he put Moscow on a par with China and the European Union as economic and diplomatic rivals. I think the United States has been foolish.

The first full-fledged talks between the presidents of Russian Federation and the United States took place in Finland's capital of Helsinki on Monday.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California he takes the charges filed by Mueller's team seriously, but added, "I personally would neither rule in nor rule out the validity of a very interesting and odd-timed indictment of people who can never be brought to justice".

Trump's warm words for Russian Federation were a marked contrast from the past week, when he repeatedly rebuked long-standing USA allies at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and during a visit to Britain. "In fact, I would argue that in many cases, some of the best diplomacy comes through face-to-face meetings with adversaries", he argued.

U.S. Rep. Kirsten Sinema (D-Arizona), who is running for the seat Flake is vacating, issued a statement saying she was "highly disturbed" by Trump's comments.

Asked whether he would extradite to the United States 12 Russian military intelligence officers recently indicted on charges of interfering with the USA election, Putin described the men as "alleged intelligence officers" and launched into a long explanation of a 1999 treaty on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Cases, saying Moscow would be happy to question the men for US officials and even to allow those officials to be present at the questioning.

Putin even said special counsel Robert Mueller, whose team continues to rack up guilty pleas and announced Monday it had arrested a Russian in Washington, D.C., could send USA officials to witness the interviews.

Schumer, saying he is "pleading" with GOP leaders to act, also called on Trump to agree to be interviewed by the special counsel. He referred to the European Union as a "foe" in trade and repeatedly criticized it. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted, "For the President to side with Putin over his own intelligence officials and blame the United States for Russia's attack on our democracy is a complete disgrace".

"To maintain our partnership with the United States of America we must readjust it", Heiko Maas told the Funke newspaper group.

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