Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Why did Donald Trump ‘side with Russia’ on election meddling?

Why did Donald Trump ‘side with Russia’ on election meddling?

And so he spoke briefly to reporters before a meeting on the Hill, and focused on his inflammatory comment suggesting he trusted Putin's word over us intelligence agencies when it came to Russian interference in the 2016 USA elections. Even many members of the President's own party rebuked his statements from almost the moment he departed the Finnish capital.

Trump supporters like Fox News host Laura Ingraham, moderates like Miami Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Senate leaders like Mitch McConnell have all expressed support for Rubio's bill, signaling that Congress could pass substantive legislation that would swiftly punish Moscow if USA intelligence determines that the Kremlin tries to meddle in future US elections.

The morning after in the United Kingdom, the Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper ran coverage of the summit on its front page, labeling Trump "Putin's poodle" and quoting former CIA Director and career intelligence officer John Brennan who described the US President's performance as "nothing short of treasonous".

Trump, the first lady, Shine and Miller were seen in animated conversation aboard Marine One when they arrived to the White House South Lawn on Monday evening.

Not all Republicans in Congress were angry with Trump's conduct in Helsinki. "I have a full faith in our intelligence agencies", Trump said, in a prepared statement.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, House speaker Paul Ryan said: "They did interfere in our elections". But he added, as he usually does, "It could be other people also".

"Let's be very clear, just so everybody knows: Russian Federation did meddle with our elections", said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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But minority Democrats have few tools to push their priorities.

If the bill passes, the White House must also provide Congress with a plan to prevent foreign interference in USA elections from China, Iran and North Korea, three countries identified by the Director of National Intelligence as potential cyber threats in future US elections.

Kimmel also opened his Live broadcast with an incredulous recap of the summit meeting, summarizing it as "a total win for Putin and a shameful day for America".

In a tweet, Mr Trump alluded to last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, which ended with him saying he had secured extra money for defence - something disputed by allies in the Western military alliance. After a journalist asked a question at their joint press conference Monday in Helsinki using soccer metaphors, Putin pulled out a red-and-white ball and tossed it at Trump, at the neighboring podium.Trump said he'd give it to his 12-year-old son Barron, a soccer fan. All are nervously watching Twitter to see if the President attempts further cleanup beyond his tweet after the event Monday when he said he has "GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people".

His skepticism drew a quick formal statement - nearly a rebuttal - from Trump's director of national Intelligence, Dan Coats. "If the Foreign Affairs Committee or Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee think that there are other sanctions that we have not placed upon Russian Federation, I'm more than happy to consider those", Ryan said, stopping short of calling for more sanctions himself.

"I've said this many times", Trump said.

In Helsinki, Putin said he had indeed wanted Trump to win the election - a revelation that might have made more headlines if not for Trump's performance - but had taken no action to make it happen. "We had a tremendous success with the Miss Universe contest. and I got to meet everybody".

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