TIME cover morphs Donald Trump into Vladimir Putin

Frederick Owens
July 20, 2018

The White House had earlier said it would consider the proposal, which Mr Trump called a "tremendous" gesture.

Trump's performance at the summit was so roundly condemned that he issued an emergency statement Tuesday blaming his blunder on a slip of the tongue. But on Wednesday he struck a more defiant tone, insisting that no other president has ever been tougher on Moscow. "Is he open to having United States officials questioned by Russian Federation?" asked the New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman asked.

"No", he responded, looking directly at the reporter.

The director of national intelligence would have been there.

In exchange, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller could send members of his team to watch Russian questioning of 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week in connection with hacking Democratic Party email accounts before the 2016 election.

Mr McFaul said the request from Mr Putin was "ridiculous", and it was also rubbished by the Senate, where all 98 politicians voted to support a resolution against allowing Russian Federation to question USA officials. I say to them we are professionals. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation or any other country caught posting ads, running fake news or otherwise interfering with election infrastructure.

He compared the "warning signs" to those the United States faced ahead of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and named the "worst offenders" as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea - with Russia the "most aggressive foreign actor, no question".

Putin said in a speech to Russian ambassadors gathered in Moscow that "it's naive to think that the problems would be solved in a few hours".

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Trump was fiercely criticized when he refused to back the USA intelligence community's assessment of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election during a joint news conference with Putin, instead touting Putin's strong denials - and his desire to not back down or apologize over his performance. "There are lots of people out there".

On Wednesday, Trump continued his efforts to put a positive spin on his maligned Helsinki appearance, which drew condemnation across the political spectrum.

He added that Russian Federation is "nevertheless open to developing contacts with the USA on the basis of equality".

The Republican president later said he had misspoken and accused "some people" of hating the fact that he got along with Putin.

Coats, who is charged with overseeing the nation's 17 intelligence agencies, also said that if he had been asked, he would have advised Trump against meeting Putin alone, with just interpreters. 'The sentence should have been "I dont see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation"'.

President Trump's invitation to Russian president Vladimir Putin to visit Washington DC later this year drew a swift and negative response from Democrats and an apparent rebuke from one of his own top intelligence advisers.

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. It took the president several attempts to walk back his comments, amplifying the fallout from his joint appearance with Putin.

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