Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Tennessee senators, hopefuls oppose Trump remarks on Russia

Tennessee senators, hopefuls oppose Trump remarks on Russia

But this time the U.S. president was on foreign soil, standing side-by-side with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the very man whose government is accused of interfering in the 2016 election in order to put Trump in the White House.

Trump, speaking in Helsinki after his first summit with Putin, said he saw no reason to believe his own country's intelligence agencies over the Kremlin leader's assurances that Russian Federation did not interfere in the USA election.

We saw Trump - one day after National Security Adviser John Bolton said "we're quite concerned" Russian Federation would interfere in a future USA election - say that he didn't see "any reason why" Russian Federation meddled in 2016.

Most troubling was when Trump effectively endorsed Putin's denial that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election, contradicting not only Republican-controlled congressional committees, but even Trump's own national security adviser and director of national intelligence.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, tweeted this after the Trump-Putin press conference: "I'm disappointed the President downplayed the very real threat Russian Federation poses to our country and our values".

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

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His scepticism drew a quick formal statement - nearly a rebuttal - from Mr Trump's director of national intelligence, Dan Coats.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said Russian Federation undoubtedly interfered in the 2016 election.

Raul Grijalva said in his response: "Despite overwhelming evidence of Russian meddling in our election, Trump refused to defend American democracy today".

Trump also appeared to embrace Putin's offer to have Russian investigators work together with USA prosecutors on the case of the 12 just indicted. "It's the internal political games of the United States".

"This legislation to punish Putin cronies for the murder of my lawyer and other human rights violations has really upset Vladimir Putin", he said. And so, yes, we have been involved in Russian Federation and their elections.

"They either talk or they fight, and in my opinion, talking is better than fighting", he said.

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Finally we saw Trump, who attacked our North American and European allies during and after the G7 and NATO summits, eager to shake hands and pat the back of our adversary. "I think it is the terrorist groups who are to blame who destabilized the situation in the country".

Facing a barrage of questions about the war in Syrian and Russia's alleged role in Trump's 2016 election victory, both men broke into brief smiles as the Kremlin chief handed over the souvenir.

But Putin, emphatically and repeatedly, denied meddling in the US election, saying there's "no evidence". "It's the thing that he told me when he went in".

What did America see in one incredible news conference Monday?

Mutual admiration society: While Putin is not given to venting his emotions much, he does make an exception for Trump, calling him a thoughtful man who knows how to listen. It's clear that Putin outmanoeuvred the USA president.

"The President must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", Mr Ryan said in a statement.

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The tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets claimed that "a quiet, modest Trump had paled in comparison with Vladimir Putin". And today we heard Putin himself admit he wanted President Trump to win the 2016 presidential election.

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