Trump 'Giving Putin a Pass' on Election Meddling, Say Ex-Intelligence Chiefs

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 15, 2017

Trump returned to the subject in an early morning Twitter storm, which also saw him take a sarcastic dig at North Korea's "short and fat" leader Kim Jong-Un. It depends on Putin having a heart and a guiding sense of morality, both of which are in question.

"Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.' And I believe - I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it", Trump said on Saturday.

Putin reiterated the denials of interference, Trump said.

When asked by a reporter if he could say with absolute certainty that the election results were not skewed as a result of Russian interference, Pompeo said, "The intelligence community's assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election".

Current U.S. intelligence officials declined to comment on Trump's remarks Saturday, but continue to stand by the community's January 2017 assessment, which determined that Putin had "ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election". "You can only ask so many times", Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

"As to whether I believe it, I'm with our agencies", Trump said.

But on Sunday, Trump walked back on his initial language, saying, "I believe [Putin] believes that, and that's very important for somebody to believe".

"As to whether I believe it, I'm with our agencies".

"As now led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies", he added.

On Saturday, Trump lashed out at former heads of the US intelligence agencies, claiming there are plenty of reasons to be suspicious of their findings and dismissing them as "political hacks". The Kremlin, meanwhile, said Trump didn't bring up election meddling at all.

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo, who was appointed by Trump, said he still believed in that evaluation in a statement to CNN Saturday.

The president seemed to imply as much on Saturday as well, asking on Twitter when all the "haters and fools" would realize that having a good relationship with Russian Federation "is a good thing".

"There (sic) always playing politics - bad for our country".

Trump hailed the joint statement.

But just a day earlier, he had lashed out at the former heads of the U.S. intelligence agencies, dismissing them as "political hacks" and claiming there were plenty of reasons to be suspicious of their findings that Russian Federation meddled to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. But he said more needs to be done. "He just doesn't understand how to put country over self".

On the list of these agreements or main points, based on the Soviets, have been affirmations of de-escalation areas and specific zones, a method to avoid hazardous occurrences among American & Russian forces, along with a dedication to a new peaceful remedy controlled by the Geneva peace procedure.

"Vladimir Putin does not have America's interests at heart", McCain continued.

Citing descriptions by North Korean officials and state media of him as an "old" man, another Trump tweet suggested he was disappointed by what he took to be a personal attack from the North's young leader.

"Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!" he added. "Progress is being made", he wrote. And said over and over again that we have no idea who did it, that it might have been China or North Korea or some guy in his mom's basement. Trump is in Philippines on the final stop of his Asian tour. The two spoke during an economic conference in Danang, Vietnam.

Trump was originally slated to depart Manila for Washington on Monday.

"Considering the source of the criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honor", Brennan said. "I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country".

In the past, China has reacted angrily to any suggestion of U.S. mediation, saying Washington has no role in the dispute.

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