Election Interference Takes Center Stage At Trump-Putin Press Conference

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 18, 2018

Every time the topic of whether Russia meddled in the 2016 election came up - a conclusion that has been confirmed by United States intelligence agencies, congressional committees, and federal prosecutors - Trump leapt to the defense of the Russian president during Monday's joint news conference with Putin.

The run-up to the first summit-level meeting in Helsinki, Finland, between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has seen the former often singing hosannas in honour of the Russian leader, lending credence to the popular belief that the duo are now the new BFFs on the global stage.

Schumer also urged the Senate to take up legislation to boost security for US elections and to revive a measure passed earlier by the Judiciary Committee to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.

In a Monday press conference, President Trump did not attempt to push back on Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion that Russia did not interfere with the 2016 election.

"As I said today and many times before, "I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people", Trump said on Twitter.

"Maybe we just knocked down that wedge, but it has driven a wedge, and President Putin said that", Trump told Hannity. "Let's be very clear, just so everybody knows: Russian Federation did meddle with our elections", said House Speaker Paul Ryan, another steady Trump political ally. "Ninety percent of the nuclear power in the world between these two nations, and we've had a phony witch hunt deal drive us apart", Trump said, going on to say he thinks the probe is the biggest impediment to stronger relations.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russian Federation was behind an effort to tip the scale of the USA election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" he said on Twitter.

Republican Senator John McCain also spoke out against Trump's press conference comments calling the event, "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

Asked whether Russian Federation was responsible at all, Trump said "we're all to blame" for the soured relations. We have been involved in the Ukraine elections.

Schumer also criticized Trump's statements that the U.S.is to blame for the current bad relationship with Russian Federation. It featured an American president siding with an enemy of the US over his administration and intelligence officials.

Then, "The Late Show" host played a clip in which a reporter asked Putin if he had any compromising information on Trump.

"Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. And it's not limited to the territory of the United States, these are efforts they undertake in many other parts in the world", Rubio said. Brennan tweeted: "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin".

The summit capped a trip overseas during which Trump accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of failing to spend enough on their militaries and embarrassed British Prime Minister Theresa May by saying she refused to take his advice about how to negotiate Britain's exit from the EU.

Watch above, via Fox News. Anton, using a pseudonym, was behind the essay "The Flight 93 Election", which tried to convince conservatives wary of Trump to vote for him anyway because "2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die".

At the news conference, Mr Trump was invited by reporters to offer any criticism of Russian Federation but he repeatedly declined. But, he tweeted: 'I never would have thought that the US President would become one of the ones getting played by old KGB hands'.

"The damage inflicted by President Trump's naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is hard to calculate". We need to continue to deal with Russian Federation from a position of strength.

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