“Thank you very much, no”, Trump said.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood on Friday defended the White House’s invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to Washington in the fall.
Five days after the two-hour Helsinki meeting, attended only by the two leaders and their interpreters, some USA officials remained in the dark about what was discussed. “I have President Putin”. “In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy”.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: There’s never been a president as tough on Russian Federation as I have been.
A White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity did not specify if that included Russia’s interference in United States elections.
The US president on Thursday listed the topics discussed as “stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more”. Putin made similar claims at the time. “That is an abuse of power”, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) charged.
A Republican congressman and former Central Intelligence Agency officer, William Hurd, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times late on Thursday entitled, “Trump is Being Manipulated by Putin”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement said the July 21 conversation took place “at the initiative of the United States”.
NEGROPONTE: Well, I think he’s got as good an ability as anybody else to do it.
The White House released a statement saying that Trump “disagrees” with Putin’s proposal.
Trump’s misplaced and risky equivocation (he should have firmly rejected Putin’s preposterous request) led directly to the vote on Schumer’s resolution, which was an unusual display of bipartisanship in these dramatically divided times.
Coats also said he had no idea what the two leaders spoke about, and said he woudl not have set it up the way it happened.
Illustrating the gulf between Trump and some of his own advisers, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Thursday that he did not know what Trump and Putin discussed in their private meeting.
HORSLEY: The administration has also imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian oligarchs and government officials.
The Russian ambassador to Washington also denounced what he saw as “anti-Russian anger” in the United States and the “severity” of the USA criticism of Trump’s performance at the summit.
He did not elaborate on what Putin’s solutions would be.
Ukraine has been at war for control of two of its eastern regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, after an uprising of pro-Russian separatists there in 2014.
“The warning signs are there”, he said.
“There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems. but they can ALL be solved!”
“The Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential campaign is just one tree in a growing forest”, he said.
Mr Putin said Russian Federation wanted to question USA nationals the Kremlin accuses of “illegal actions”.
By the time he arrived home, the parade of critical statements had become a stampede, leaving Mr. Trump the most isolated he’d been in the White House since last year’s controversy over white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville.
Nobody paid much attention – probably because, in the same set of remarks, Trump was also trying to spin his remarks from his post-meeting news conference with Putin, where he failed to side with US intelligence agencies regarding their assessment of Russia’s election interference.
In 2015, on another cable news programme, Trump said of Putin: “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country” (then USA president Barack Obama).
During the same press conference, Trump praised Putin’s “incredible offer” of a deal to swap interrogations.