Published: Thu, July 19, 2018

'I accept' USA intelligence findings on Russian meddling

'I accept' USA intelligence findings on Russian meddling

President Donald Trump stood at a podium beside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday and was asked by a reporter whether he believed Putin, or the conclusions of US intelligence experts, on whether the Russians had interfered in the 2016 general election - which he won.

Even many Republicans have criticized Mr. Trump's performance Monday, when he appeared to side with Putin over his own intelligence agencies on the subject of Russian election meddling.

"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place", Trump conceded today.

On Tuesday, after he arrived back in the US, Trump told reporters at the White House that he misspoke at the summit.

Most of the criticism gravitates around the moments when Trump cast doubt upon the American intelligence community, cozied up to Putin, and said the US shares blame with Russian Federation for the deteriorated ties between the two countries. Yet in a sign that he cannot fully accept those findings - seeing them as a challenge to his legitimacy - he added that it "could be other people also". Lotta people out there.

In Helsinki on Monday, US President Donald Trump touted the "direct, open, deeply productive dialogue" he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said.

"The sentence should have been, "I don't see any reason why I wouldn't", or "why it wouldn't be Russia".

Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the global stage with a man he has described as an important USA competitor - but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader. But Trump made clear he feels that any acknowledgement of Russia's election involvement would undermine the legitimacy of his election.

"Two days of infamy where an American president used moral equivalency; failed to condemn a U.S. adversary and hate groups; and betrayed U.S. values/interests", Miller said.

For his part, Trump on Tuesday thanked Senator Rand Paul over his supportive remarks.

"President Trump is at best extremely weak and gullible on the global stage, and at worst is beholden financially, politically, or personally to a hostile foreign power", Polis said in a series of posts on Twitter.

Meanwhile, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said that Trump's comment Tuesday "embarrasses our nation even further".

In January 2017, 17 USA intelligence agencies proved Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 presidential election.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told reporters that "I did not think this was a good moment for our country" and that "the president's comments made us look as a nation more like a pushover".

"Well, I think there's a possibility", McConnell said Tuesday of possible legislation, citing only a proposed bill by Rep. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to deter Russian Federation from any future meddling.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan says he's willing to consider additional sanctions on Russian Federation, but there's no rush to act.

As the White House faces ongoing criticism and a rebuke from DNI director Dan Coats, Trump continues to stand by his diplomatic efforts and Putin's "very, very strong" denial of any election interference. He was asked whether he holds Russian Federation accountable for "anything in particular", Trump responded, "I hold both countries responsible".

Several Democrats still seemed unsettled after Trump's remarks Tuesday. That's okay! You can still be president!

"I've said this many times", Trump said.

"While I had a great meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

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