U.S. officials still in the dark on what Trump discussed with Putin

Annette Crawford
July 22, 2018

The White House has rejected a Vladimir Putin-backed effort to hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine on the region's future, distancing itself from the idea in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's controversial summit with the Russian leader.

This goes against standard protocol and is potentially risky if the president made secret agreements with the Russian leader, according to a former national security official.

During the same press conference, Trump praised Putin's "incredible offer" of a deal to swap interrogations. Not us, say puzzled and concerned Montenegrins.

Media captionDan Coats reacts to Putin visit news: 'That's going to be special'. Coats also said there was a "risk" the Russians recorded the private conversation between the two world leaders.

During the same interview, Coats said that he intends to remain in his current role as long as he has "the ability to seek the truth and speak the truth". "But that is the president's prerogative". "I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear".

Coats had learned mid-interview that talks were underway for Putin to visit the White House this fall at Trump's invitation, and didn't hide his surprise.

In the same interview on Thursday, Coats publicly broke with Trump over his decision to meet privately with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, saying, "if he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way".

"It's a way to say to Russian Federation and others, 'you can't meddle and you can't play geopolitics in the Western Balkans because we are part of the Western Balkans'". "Completely", the unnamed diplomat said.

The week only worse for the president, his staff, and his party after that, though it's still not clear Trump understands why, just like it's not clear how he could have possibly expected to avoid such an inevitable line of questioning in Helsinki, something his beleaguered aides surely tried to prepare him for ahead of time. One source said there was a belief that if Mr Coats had been in Washington instead of Colorado, he would not have been surprised by the news. I've asked the same question.

"I can tell you that the president reiterated our ironclad commitment to NATO's collective defense last week" at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' meeting in Brussels, Nauert said.

In a stunning turn of events, President Donald Trump has invited Russia's Vladimir Putin to the White House this fall. Business Insider reached out to the White House for clarification on this matter, but did not receive an immediate response. The State Department, however, later called it "absolutely absurd". Concurrently, a cable would go out to foreign posts with guidance on how to move foward.

He clarified it a day later, claiming he should have said he didn't see any reason why it "wouldn't" be Russian Federation that meddled.

Trump has also made conflicting statements recently about whether he believes there are ongoing Russian threats to American elections - even walking back a statement he made during his appearance with Putin in Helsinki.

Another reporter shouts a question, and Trump says "thank you very much everybody".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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