Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Spelling it out: War of words over US-Russia relations

Spelling it out: War of words over US-Russia relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin called his first summit with President Donald Trump a success - but warned Thursday that Trump's opponents in the US are hampering any progress on what they discussed, such as limiting their nuclear arsenals or ending the Syrian war.

On Twitter, Trump listed topics he and Putin talked about, but gave no details.

Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, expressed hope Thursday that "the verbal agreements between Putin and Trump will be fulfilled".

If such agreements were indeed made, it seems the top United States officials tasked with carrying them out have not been informed.

"I think what's important about that conversation is, it's not that one side is right, one side is wrong", Secretary Nielsen told NBC News' Peter Alexander Thursday afternoon, when asked specifically about the August 2017 Charlottesville rally that left one woman, Heather Heyer, dead.

Similarly, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Thursday said he didn't know the specifics of what Trump and Putin discussed. He said he wished Trump hadn't met alone with the Russian leader-and hadn't questioned intelligence agencies' conclusions on Russian election interference.

"So, no, I would not necessarily say that was the objective", she continued. He said they discussed counterterrorism, Israel's security, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace and North Korea.

And learn more he did.

What else has happened since the Trump-Putin summit?

With Putin at his side, Trump said of American intelligence officials: "They said they think it's Russian Federation. Completely", the unnamed diplomat said.

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"I think it's a very normal and practical thing".

"Until we know what happened at that two-hour meeting in Helsinki, the president should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin".

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the proposal "naïve and absurd", adding that "there is no rule of law in Russian Federation; there is the rule of Putin". Phone calls have a different protocol and don't present as many challenges.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump's goal was to "redirect" two countries "that'd been on a bad path".

The invitation was extended to Putin by Bolton earlier on Thursday, according to a National Security Council spokesman.

Coats also said he did not know beforehand that Trump planned to host Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia's then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in the Oval office in May of 2017.

In a sharp rebuke to the White House, the resolution passed with unanimous support from both parties, 98-0. It also called for more sanctions against Russian Federation and for the Senate to conduct hearings into what happened during the meeting in Helsinki. "All the reporting I have seen suggests that has yet to occur", McKeon said.

To Americans back home, particularly the opponents of Trump, the press conference gave them more fodder to criticize the USA president.

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov revealed the discussions amid confusion and concern in the USA about what the two world leaders actually agreed upon behind closed doors.

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