Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Donald Trump under-fire over Putin summit performance

Donald Trump under-fire over Putin summit performance

President Trump now says he misspoke when he addressed charges of Russian election meddling during his Helsinki summit with Putin.

However, he quickly added: "It could be other people". There are a lot of people out there. "There was no collusion at all".

The summit capped a tumultuous trip during which Trump accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of failing to spend enough on their militaries and embarrassed British Prime Minister Theresa May by saying she had refused to take his advice about how to negotiate Britain's exit from the EU.

Mr Trump took aim at a familiar target, the media, saying his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting was "great" but that he "had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation".

"But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake".

Ryan was asked if he would use the term he once used to describe President Obama's foreign policy - "catastrophically meek" - to describe Trump's Helsinki summit.

This reference to diplomatic success carried an edge, too, since the barrage of criticism and insults he delivered in Brussels and London was hardly well-received.

"Shameful", "disgraceful", and "weak" were a few of the comments, while senator Bob Corker said it makes the United States "look like a pushover". Makes the USA "look like a pushover", said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

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The president took to Twitter Tuesday morning to double down on his assessment that the meeting with Putin was successful, even more so than his meeting with the United States' closest allies at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. And while he reiterated that he thought special counsel Robert Mueller III should be allowed to finish his probe, Ryan did not promise to let up on Republican attempts to undermine the investigation. "They've demonstrated that in all the obvious ways over the last few years: the annexation of Crimea, the invasion of eastern Ukraine, not to mention the indisputable evidence that they tried to impact the 2016 election". Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen.

Mr Trump is meeting with members of Congress, with many of them having joined the chorus of condemnation.

Pelosi also wants to force a vote on the House floor on a resolution rebuking Trump's remarks in Helsinki.

Everyone got mad, in both parties.

Meanwhile, Trump still left open the possibility that Russian Federation wasn't alone in targeting the election.

Immediately after Monday's news conference, Trump's mood was buoyant, people familiar with the matter said.

"I have full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies and always had", said Mr. Trump.

"We stand by our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and all those countries who are facing Russian Federation aggression", Ryan said.

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"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russian Federation".

As Trump himself notes, the corrected sentence is ungrammatical, since it contains two negatives.

His Monday statement drew a quick rebuttal from his director of national Intelligence, Dan Coats.

In addition, he previously suggested that other countries, not necessarily Russian Federation, could have interfered in the election. "And we have a lot of power".

Trump still believes the criticism is being blown out of proportion, one official said, and he plans to try to turn the attacks onto the press once again.

Speaking after the summit, prominent Republican senator John McCain said: "Today's press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has given a series of interviews supporting Trump's stance towards Putin, and berating his critics as biased against the president.

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