Trump says Russian Federation isn't a threat, contradicts his own intelligence chief

19 Julio, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • Michael Mc Faul Edward Snowden

In rebutting Trump's dismissive comments about USA intelligence on Monday, Coats said in a statement, "We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

On Tuesday, Trump said he misspoke at a Helsinki news conference with Putin and that he accepted intelligence agency conclusions about Russian election meddling, although he hedged by deviating from his prepared notes to say "it could be other people also".

"My people came to me - [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others - they said they think it's Russian Federation".

The summit in fact had the two world superpowers sit down and discuss in a civilized way for two hours privately, and then two hours with staff, the wide gamut of issues that are important to this world. More of the interview is scheduled to run Wednesday on CBS at 6:30 Eastern, with additional segments running Thursday morning and evening.

Mr Howard also said the alliance between Australia and the U.S. was "rock solid". "We want to see the notes", Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told MSNBC. He also said he has faith in US intelligence agencies.

"My administration will repeal any attempt to interfere in our elections", he said.

"We're going to have a massive effort to try to get to what happened". "I'm not sure we can change his mind about it, but I'll tell you, we can pass a law that does something about it".

Later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sought to clarify Trump's comments, saying his "no" meant that he was not taking any questions from reporters.

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.       Kevin Lamarque  Reuters
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kevin Lamarque Reuters

Facing the onslaught of criticism, Trump sought to clarify his remarks by telling reporters that when he said he saw no reason why Russian Federation "would" interfere, he meant to say he saw no reason why it "wouldn't" be Russian Federation, which led to another media frenzy. "I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be".

He added that "in a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word "would" instead of 'wouldn't.' The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't or why it wouldn't be Russian Federation'".

Coats said last week that Russian Federation has been the most aggressive cyberthreat but other efforts are coming from China, Iran and North Korea as well as criminal networks and individual hackers.

He also said he accepts the conclusion by U.S. intelligence officials that Moscow interfered in the election, which saw Trump defeat Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.

The president and Putin met one-on-one for almost two hours, and the White House has not revealed many specifics about what was discussed.

Following the airing of the CBS interview, Clapper responded to Mr. Trump's comments on CNN.

"So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki", Trump tweeted.

"This body must reaffirm that we stand with the men and women of the Department of Justice, who have brought these 12 indictments against individuals from the Russian Federation who interfered with our elections", Flake said in a statement.

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