Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

See how Trump's stand on Russian Federation has shifted since Helsinki

See how Trump's stand on Russian Federation has shifted since Helsinki

Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesThe Trump administration's stance on Russian election interference has shifted multiple times since his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

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

But a declassified report from U.S. intelligence agencies made public in January 2017 states, "Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the USA presidential election".

Climb-downs and clarifications are rare from President Trump and after a few days of both he returned to form later in the week, blaming the media for its coverage of the summit as opposed to blaming himself for any missteps. Mr. Trump may like doing things his way, eschewing advice and precedent like no president before, but he never likes being alone.

Trump's administration has sought to control the damage from Monday's summit in Helsinki, where the president shocked the world by siding with Putin over US intelligence agencies on Moscow's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The highly choreographed affairs had been sought out by the USA leader as a way to boost his credibility overseas and his favorability at home, and he believed the latest one had accomplished the task.

Amid the enduring firestorm, Trump later claimed he misspoke during one exchange with reporters in Finland.

On Thursday, Trump said he was "not happy" that the Federal Reserve was raising interest rates, breaking with long-standing tradition at the White House of avoiding any influence on the U.S. central bank.

"In situations like this when he gets into bunker mode, he kind of goes back to his true believers like [Corey] Lewandowski, David Bossie, and his old friends like Chris Ruddy and Tom Barrack", the person said. "Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency".

Even New Hampshire's new GOP chairman, Wayne McDonald, took a swipe at Horn for attacking Trump on Russian Federation. But Trump reversed course Thursday after the Senate voted 98 to 0 for a nonbinding resolution opposing any such deal, and after current and former diplomats rallied to the defense of McFaul, saying Trump's move would undermine the bedrock principle of diplomatic immunity.

"I'll be his worst nightmare, but I don't think it'll be that way", Trump told CNBC in an interview broadcast Friday.

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But Trump's National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said agreements between Russian Federation and the Ukrainian government for resolving the conflict in the Donbas region do not include any such option and any effort to organize a "so-called referendum" would have "no legitimacy".

The next day brought a fresh challenge.

Defending his conduct, Trump told CNBC that "fools from the media" and other critics wanted him to berate Putin over Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

And it signalled that between Trump's trade wars, his unusual deference to Putin (including an invitation to Putin to visit the White House this autumn), and the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the southern border, Republicans are slowly tiring of "Trump being Trump" and learning that governance by chaos and threat at the hands of a self-assured yet naïve would-be autocrat can have disastrous consequences. He recalled how they asked him earlier this year to expel Russian intelligence agents to punish Moscow for the suspected poisoning of an ex-spy.

Sanders later said his comment was misinterpreted. Democrats attempted to subpoena Trump's interpreter, Marina Gross, to learn what was discussed during the meeting, but the order was shut down by House Republicans on Thursday. He groused about his staff for not better managing the fallout.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats did not attempt to hide his surprise when told, while on stage at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, that Putin had been invited to the White House.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of a referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday.

It all left White House staffers in a fresh state of resignation about their jobs.

Before the meeting in Helsinki, Coats publicly warned that the U.S. was facing a growing cyber threat, singling out Russian Federation as the country's most hostile adversary. "I don't see that".

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