Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump postpones Putin visit as Pompeo defends United States stance on Russian Federation

Trump postpones Putin visit as Pompeo defends United States stance on Russian Federation

"The President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russian Federation witch hunt is over", national security adviser John Bolton announced to reporters.

Ahead of the hearing, Trump's congressional critics said they were particularly interested in questioning Pompeo about Trump's apparent embrace of Putin's denial that Russian Federation had interfered in the 2016 USA election and equated Putin's statement with the US intelligence finding that it had meddled.

Russia's political and business leaders were quick to chalk up last week's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump as a victory for Vladimir Putin.

Trump's performance was widely ripped by lawmakers of all stripes, who slammed his remarks as "treasonous" and "disgraceful."

Yuri Ushakov, citing a desire not to inflame what he described as an already "overheated" USA political situation, said no preparations were being made to visit Washington and Putin would be open to meeting with Trump in other venues, such as a Group of 20 (G20) summit in Argentina this fall.

"There are other options (to meet) which our leaders can look at", Ushakov told reporters, while suggesting a meeting of G20 leaders in Argentina that starts at the end of November. "In concert with allies, partners, and the worldwide community, the United States rejects Russia's attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine's territorial integrity is restored".

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In an interview transcript released ahead of the Crimea statement, Pompeo said Trump and Putin "didn't find much place to agree" on Ukraine when they met in Finland last week.

Mr Putin had already sent signals that the White House meeting was not going to happen. "Putin and Trump may also meet at other worldwide forums they will participate in, such possibilities will surely be discussed", he said.

In Wednesday's White House statement, Bolton indicated the Mueller probe would be over by January 1.

Instead, anger about what some USA lawmakers saw as a too-deferential performance by Trump in Helsinki and his failure to publicly confront Putin over Moscow's alleged meddling in US politics may have made things worse.

POMPEO: I've had a number of conversations with President Trump about what transpired in the meeting.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday took a tough line on Russian Federation and its annexation of Crimea as lawmakers demanded specifics from him on President Trump's Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin.

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In a country where state media portrays Putin as a seemingly infallible leader, even some of his supporters were fretting that he may have made an error by appearing to demonstrably take Trump's side.

Trump's unexpectedly rapid invitation to Putin to come to Washington for another summit - only three days after Helsinki - has only deepened criticism of Trump's handling of Russian Federation, overshadowing the so-far meager results of the Helsinki summit.

Pompeo said he had personally told top Russians that there would be "severe consequences" for new interference in United States elections. "Otherwise, the administration will continue opposing tough actions against Russian Federation in response to its malign activities", the top American diplomat said.

"I'm very concerned that Russian Federation will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election", Trump posted on Twitter.

Maxine Waters also criticized the Republican Party of effectively condoning Donald Trump's recent comments and actions, saying that the GOP "should be ashamed" of their perceived inability to speak up against the president.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, asked whether Trump talked to Putin about removing USA troops from Syria.

Trump's planned White House meeting with Putin pushed back to next year
Putin responds that he did want Trump to win the election because "he talked about bringing the U.S. -Russia relationship back to normal".

Lawmakers - and America's allies around the world - have been eager to learn the details of Trump's one-on-one July 16 meeting with Putin, including whether Trump made any secret promises to Putin or as-yet-undisclosed verbal agreements.

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