Pressure grows on Trump to confront Putin after Mueller indictments

15 July, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Brendan Smialowski—AFP

When asked what the Kremlin thinks about Donald Trump calling Vladimir Putin a 'competitor, ' the Russian president's adviser said that Moscow considers the United States president to be 'a partner'.

"President Trump must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy", House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Ahead of the Helsinki meeting, Trump upended the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit by demanding that America's closest allies more rapidly increase their defense spending, insinuating the USA might withdraw from the bloc otherwise.

President trump took to Twitter to commend North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies allocating more money to defense funding, saying 'this is now changing -for the first time'.

But which version of reality will Trump project as he meets with Putin in Helsinki?

The charges were drawn up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who is looking into Russian interference in the November 2016 vote and whether any members of Trump's campaign team colluded with Moscow.

In February, 13 Russians and three Russian companies were charged with interfering with the election.

The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told NBC News on Friday afternoon that the summit is "still on".

News of the indictment came as Trump was meeting Queen Elizabeth II and just 72 hours before his meeting with Putin.


Trump said he plans to raise election meddling with Putin when they meet Monday at the Finnish presidential palace in Helsinki, but has also said he doesn't expect Putin to accept blame.

On July 12, a NATO summit endorsed a joint statement that accused Moscow of "challenging Euro-Atlantic security and stability through hybrid actions, including attempted interference in the election processes.widespread disinformation campaigns, and malicious cyber activities". "There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think, but you never know what happens, right?"

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he answers questions during a news conference before departing the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, July 12, 2018.

'I will absolutely bring that up.

"It reflects the way Trump and certainly some of the people in his orbit view things", Jeff Mankoff, deputy director of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies' Russia and Eurasia Program, said in a phone interview.

And as Trump has talked about bringing Putin back into the worldwide fold, the Treasury Department has continued to impose sanctions on various Russian officials, companies and businessmen.

The US President has repeatedly shown that flattery, praise and a welcoming atmosphere are the fastest ways to his heart. Pure stupidity. But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation.

Scuffles broke out at one point as attendees - who chanted slogans including "We love you Donald" - passed a nearby anti-fascism protest.

The indictments are the most detailed explanation so far of how units of Russia's GRU attempted to influence the 2016 election by stealing Democratic emails, then releasing them in ways meant to dominate news headlines as voters made up their minds.

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