In an attempt to “clarify” his remarks during yesterday’s summit with Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump made a brief closed-door address to a handful of Republican members of Congress amid mounting criticism from allies and foes alike about his failure to publicly condemn Russian election meddling.
The president said that after reviewing the clip of the summit press conference, he decided he needed to clarify and did so by saying that has “full faith” in US intelligence agencies, while noting that he also entered the Putin meeting with conviction that engagement is better than hostility, that dialog with Russia is very important and that Helsinki was his “most successful visit” yet and that he is working hard with US allies.
But more importantly, and as some expected, Trump appears to have folded, saying that he misspoke yesterday and that his past comment on US intel needs clarification, he said that he now “accepts the intelligence conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election” but he denied that his campaign had colluded in the effort.
- TRUMP SAYS HIS PAST COMMENT ON U.S. INTEL NEEDS CLARIFICATION
- TRUMP SAYS HE MISSPOKE YDAY WHEN MAKING COMMENT ON RUSSIA
- TRUMP: I ACCEPT INTELLIGENCE CONCLUSION RUSSIA MEDDLED IN 2016
- TRUMP SAYS ACCEPTS INTEL THAT RUSSIA MEDDLED IN U.S. ELECTION
- TRUMP REITERATES THERE WAS NO COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA IN 2016
Finally, there will be no thaw in US-Russia relations:
- TRUMP SAYS SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA WILL REMAIN IN PLACE
Full clip below:
Trump: “Let me be totally clear, and I’ve said this many times, I accept our intelligence communities’ conclusion that Russia’s meddling took place. Could be other people also” #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/tpI4si1kIB
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) July 17, 2018
Trump received bipartisan rebuke on Monday for failing to support the US Intelligence Community’s assessment of Russian hacking during the 2016 election. Some current and former government officials have even called for an intervention, stopping just short of the word “coup.”
Early Monday, former CIA Director John Brennan lashed out, tweeting “Donald Trump’s press performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
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. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Hours later, former FBI Director James Comey issued a call to “stand up”:
“This was the day an American president stood on foreign soil next to a murderous lying thug and refused to back his own country,” adding “Patriots need to stand up and reject the behavior of this president.”
This was the day an American president stood on foreign soil next to a murderous lying thug and refused to back his own country. Patriots need to stand up and reject the behavior of this president.
— James Comey (@Comey) July 16, 2018
Meanwhile Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee – who said he would award the Purple Heart to disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok – only to later regret his words, called for the military to step in and stage a coup:
Where are our military folks ? The Commander in Chief is in the hands of our enemy! https://t.co/3eF7OLKEdN
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) July 16, 2018
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Author: Tyler Durden