Spelling it out: War of words over US-Russia relations
- Author: Jon Douglas Jul 22, 2018,
Jul 22, 2018, 0:41
"The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation, '" he added.
Facing condemnation from allies and foes alike on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump was outnumbered even in the Oval Office.
This time the letters were "n" and "o". And Trump has aggressively promoted US energy exports, although so far that hasn't created much competition for Russia's oil and gas.
On Thursday, the White House had to bat down yet another comment, made first by Trump in Helsinki and then given credence by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Washington.
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.
A White House meeting would be a dramatic extension of legitimacy to the Russian leader, who has always been isolated by the West for activities in Ukraine, Syria and beyond and is believed to have interfered in the 2016 presidential election that sent Trump to the presidency.
Trump allegedly agreed to consider it, but asked the Russian leader to keep deliberations on this issue confidential. He did not do so.
As noted above, the U.S. intelligence community explicitly concluded that Russian Federation, under the direction of Putin, meddled in the election to bolster Trump's chances of winning.
He's visited the United States before.
He said at the United Nations he was "happy that the two leaders of two very important countries are continuing to meet". With his base still behind him, Mr Trump appears ready to press on with his efforts.
"I don't know what happened in that meeting", Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said.
USA officials have been mum on what, if anything, the two leaders agreed to in Helsinki during a two-hour, one-on-one meeting.
"This issue was discussed", he said, adding without elaborating that Putin made "concrete proposals" to Trump on solutions for the Ukraine conflict.
It has prompted calls for the subpoenaing of the notes taken by the USA translator who was in the room at the time and even calls for her to testify before a congressional hearing.
"The administration is not going to send, force Americans to travel to Russian Federation to be interrogated by Vladimir Putin and his team", Pompeo said in an interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network.
The prospect sparked uproar, with USA senators voting to block the move.
The White House backtrack came just before the Senate voted overwhelmingly against the idea.
By week's end, Trump had invited Putin to the White House for their next meeting.
Aaron Bernstein/ReutersDirector of National Intelligence Dan Coats reiterated the USA intelligence community's conclusion Russian Federation interfered in the U.S. presidential election on Monday after President Donald Trump expressed his doubts on the subject in Helsinki.
"The added funds will provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs, including capabilities to enhance Ukraine's command and control, situational awareness systems, secure communications, military mobility, night vision, and military medical treatment", the Pentagon said in a statement.
It has been one of the most controversial weeks of Donald Trump's presidency but has it damaged his popularity?
Mr Trump may have been encouraged by recent opinion polling showing that while the public at large is uneasy with Mr Trump's Russian Federation policies, his Republican base - by a sizeable majority - is fine with his performance.
So right now it looks like a controversy blamed on an apostrophe won't be putting a full stop to President Trump's re-election hopes.