Cartoonists capture surreal side of Trump-Putin meeting

18 July, 2018, 11:17 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Kevin Lamarque  ReutersPresident Donald Trump meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Finland

In a stunning about-face, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had "full faith" in America's intelligence agencies - a day after he appeared to dismiss their conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the USA elections while standing side by side with Vladimir Putin.

Trump admitted: 'I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place'.

Blasted for questioning the findings of USA intelligence agencies that Russian operatives had meddled in the election - also a subject of more than two dozen indictments by the Department of Justice - Trump seemed more open to the intelligence findings, but continued to qualify his remarks.

"I'm well aware that there are many people who think this was not Trump's finest hour, that Putin got away with basically dominating this whole thing and whatever Putin said stood, that Trump didn't push back on any of it", Limbaugh said. "Instead, Trump - standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin - touted Putin's vigorous denial and pivoted to complaining about the Democratic National Committee's server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton's personal account".

Speaking at the White House before a meeting with Republican members of Congress, Trump said he had reviewed the transcript of his news conference in Helsinki with Putin at his side, and realized he misstated what he meant.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., opted for a similarly measured response, acknowledging Russia's interference - though he qualified that "there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election". "If that wasn't the work of God and [special counsel] Robert Mueller, I don't know what is", Kimmel said.

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. Russian Federation "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals", Ryan said. "We don't blame our country in front of a meeting with President Putin".

What did President Trump say? "I think we need to go a little further than that".

They also want to know about any talk on changing global security agreements, if Trump made any commitments tied to the United States' presence in Syria or military exercises for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Beyond reaffirming support for U.S. intelligence agencies, Flake said the resolution would call for "some kind of hearing or briefing by those involved" in the private Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki, "to try to find out what happened in that private meeting".

CNN's Anderson Cooper put it this way: "You have been watching one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader that I've ever seen".

Expect (nothing) much: To prevent any backlash against a possible failure of the summit, Trump has already shielded Putin and himself by saying that he doesn't expect much from the meeting, while hoping for an "extraordinary relationship".


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