Niinistö: Trump-Putin summit hopefully takes on wider importance

Lester Mason
July 16, 2018

Mr Trump said last week that he planned to again raise the meddling issue with Mr Putin, but questions have been swirling about whether Mr Trump will sharply and publicly rebuke his Russian counterpart for the interference that prompted a special investigation probe that Mr Trump has repeatedly labelled a "witch hunt".

Asked if Putin was an adversary, he said: "Actually I called him a competitor and a good competitor he is and I think the word competitor is a compliment".

In a tweet, he wrote: "Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of United States foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" "That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence", House Speaker Paul Ryan said. Ryan said Russian Federation "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals".

He said Trump had raised accusations of Russian interference in USA elections.

For his part, Trump criticised the ongoing United States investigation into the allegations as a "disaster".

McCain joined other congressional Republicans on Monday in contradicting Trump and acknowledging Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. After Mr Trump concluded his remarks, American reporters shouted several questions about whether he would bring up election meddling during his discussions with Mr Putin. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin's regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of worldwide treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was less direct but raised the same prospect in a statement issued shortly after Trump and Putin concluded a remarkable news conference in Helsinki at the end of a summit that both said included discussion of Russian interference in the USA 2016 presidential election.


Other Republicans called Trump's remarks "outrageous", "an absolute disgrace", and "moronic".

Last week, USA authorities indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential vote. "This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves", Graham said on Twitter. "I don't see any reason why it should be", he replied.

Brennan served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013 through January 2017.

"Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous". Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.

James Clapper, who was director of national intelligence under Obama between 2010 and 2017, described Trump remarks as "truly unbelievable".

"The United States is not to blame". "He has got to be celebrating on the way home to Moscow".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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