White House, State at odds over Putin’s interview proposal

Saturday, 21 Jul, 2018

Trump, facing a political uproar over his failure to confront Putin during their Helsinki summit on Monday over Russia's 2016 USA election meddling, adopted his usual defiant posture, calling his critics deranged.

Despite the controversy, Republican voters seem to be sticking by Mr Trump.

The protest came after Trump's chaotic summit and subsequent comments to reporters in Helsinki.

The president declined to say whether he believed Putin lied to him Monday when he denied Russian involvement in cyberattacks on Democratic party organizations.

The White House has struggled to contain the fallout from a news conference from Helsinki, in which Mr Trump, standing next to Mr Putin, said he "didn't see any reason" why Russian Federation would be involved in United States election meddling.

Grassley said that this week President Trump "missed a real opportunity" when he failed to denounce Russia's interference in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House. Not, once, but twice, Trump said "no".

U.S. lawmakers are calling for a court demand to be issued for the notes of the USA translator who accompanied Mr Trump to his two-hour meeting with Mr Putin. "We never said just kidding".

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington , U.S., July 18, 2018. He, however, backtracked a day later on his return to the United States and said that he misspoke in the joint news conference.

"What I can tell you is that the overall assertions are absolutely absurd - the fact that they want to question 11 American citizens and the assertions that the Russian Government is making about those American citizens", said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, called the Helsinki news conference "saddening and disappointing".

On Monday, President Trump criticized his own intelligence community, praised Putin and then drew bipartisan ire.

Jackson noted on Twitter that saying no to questions is not how Trump says no to questions.

"The sentence should have been, "I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russia" instead of "why it would", Trump said on Tuesday of the comments he had made standing alongside Vladimir Putin on the summit stage in Helsinki. "So when he sees that he has misspoken, he comes out and he says that". He explained he had reviewed a transcript and video of his remarks.

He also said that he didn't see any reason why it "would have been" Russian Federation that interfered in the election, comments that he later walked back, claiming he meant to say "wouldn't". "And is his position that 'No, Russia is not doing anything to interfere or meddle in the 2018 election?'"

In morning tweets, Trump condemned "haters" who did not want him getting along with Putin, saying they suffered from "Trump Derangement Syndrome".