Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Donald Trump nearly alone in view of Russian Federation meddling

Donald Trump nearly alone in view of Russian Federation meddling

Senior Republican Senator John McCain was particularly scathing, saying: "Coming close on the heels of President Trump's bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today's press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American presidency". But now he is president, and the fact that he may not have colluded with the Russians doesn't mean he does not, as president, have a responsibility to ensure that the Russians be punished for interfering in our last election on their own and be effectively deterred from doing so in the future.

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But Cohen's commentary came just hours after Trump sided with Russian president Vladimir Putin during a joint press conference in Helsinki.

Included in the talking points were the lines: "For over a year and half, the President has repeatedly said he believes the intelligence agencies when they said Russian Federation interfered in American elections", and "President Trump isn't going to let an excessive focus on the past get in the way of building a brighter future between the world's two largest nuclear powers". And I really think the world wants to see us get along.

It certainly did. With his remarks in Helsinki and at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Trump has signaled a historic shift in US foreign policy that may determine the future of this nation and the fate of his presidency.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, a Republican and a Trump appointee, responded to Trump's remarks and stood by the U.S. agencies. The mainstream United States media also expressed outrage. Bill Burns, a former US deputy secretary of state and ambassador to Russian Federation, said in a telephone interview: "I have. seen a lot of performances by presidents on the world stage, but I can not think of one that was more appalling than this one".

Putin said allegations that Russian intelligence agencies had collected compromising information on Trump were "sheer nonsense".

He also said the two countries should be "very careful" on nuclear weapons.

I completely endorse former Central Intelligence Agency director John O. Brennan's tweet after the news conference: "Donald Trump's news conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanours.' It was nothing short of treasonous".

He noted that Russia would expect the return the favor and cooperate in the Russian probe against Bill Browder, a British investor charged with financial crimes in Russia.

Ryan, the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, was tempered in his remarks but insisted that Trump "must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally".

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The family had set up a GoFundMe page to pay for some of the search efforts, including helping them with hotel stays and petrol. Ms Hernandez had been travelling from OR to Southern California to visit sister Isabel when her communication suddenly stopped.

"President Putin, he just said it's not Russia", Trump said.

Yet Trump appeared to take Putin's word in dismissing that conclusion.

The host also mocked Trump for blaming both the United States and Russian Federation for the break down in the relationship between the two countries.

Senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump's answer on meddling "will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness". It gave no further details.

It was a remarkable break with United States intelligence officials and the Justice Department and, just as alarming for some, Mr Trump also put the two countries on the same footing when casting blame for their strained relations.

That is what a real American president, sworn to protect and defend the Constitution, would have said to Putin. I think the US has been foolish.

And we say it's for democracy, but we don't support the Russian party.

He reiterated there had been "no collusion" and that he ran a "clean campaign" and beat his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton "easily".

His manner towards Putin was also a contrast to the anger Trump flashed at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies at a combative summit of the alliance in Brussels last week, which critics said would only hearten Putin.

Prosecutors in February charged 13 Russians with participating in a social media effort to sway public opinion, and divide voters on hot-button issues, during the election by concocting bogus Facebook ads in the names of Americans.

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