Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

How did Donald Trump's attempt to clarify his Russian Federation comments play out?

How did Donald Trump's attempt to clarify his Russian Federation comments play out?

Anatoly Antonov's statement came amid a backlash against comments made by US President Donald Trump over Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, an accusation that US intelligence agencies have confirmed but Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied on multiple occasions. "Our intelligence officers believe they did and I think it's disgraceful that the president didn't acknowledge that".

He did not directly mention Trump, but his comments were clearly a response to the President's heavily criticised performance in Helsinki.

"For the president of the U.S. to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defence officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak", Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said.

That's what a handwritten note attached to U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks said on Tuesday, one day after he questioned information from his intelligence agencies suggesting Russian Federation had meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

"We will stop it, we will repel it", Trump vowed.

Since then, the US President has backtracked on his comments.

"So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki", he said.

But he added that the Russian actions had no impact on the outcome of his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former USA secretary of state, and reiterated his frequent statement denying that there was any collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives.

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After hours of debate in the lower house on Thursday, lawmakers agreed to launch a parliamentary inquiry into the case. Labour unions hold demonstrations every year on May Day in France , which often lead to police intervention.

Both parties called for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials to appear before Congress and tell exactly what happened during Trump's two-hour private session with Putin.

The US president followed this by saying that "while Russia's actions had no impact, at all, on the outcome of the election", he accepted the intelligence community's conclusions.

During his remarks, Trump reiterated his belief that it was a good thing to get along with Russian Federation and highlighted the successes of his three stops in Europe.

FILE - Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., takes questions from reporters. "We know they interfered with our elections, and we have passed sanctions on Russian Federation to hold them accountable".

"He's held aloft by his base for now, but the base alone is not sufficient and I think we're in for a rough ride this fall."
"The President must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally".

Trump's comments on July 17 came minutes after the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, warned Russian Federation not to interfere in the November 2018 midterm elections and said the Senate could take up legislation on additional sanctions against Russian Federation.

GOP congressional operative Doug Heye told the Wall Street Journal he had noted that personal criticism of Mr Trump tended to backfire in electoral losses - but that it was easier to push back in "substantive terms".

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