Trump mentioned Coats by name in his Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, then sided with Putin's "powerful" denial of election meddling over Coats' admonition that Russia interfered and there were warning lights flashing red. The fallout was swift.
Mixed messages from Trump have increased worries in Congress that the White House is not taking seriously the threat that senior officials say Russian Federation now poses to the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. GOP leadership and Trump's own intelligence officials again affirmed that Russian Federation was responsible for the hacking and influence campaign. But he said, "Russia was always open to such proposals".
He tweeted Thursday the Russian Federation summit was a huge success except with the "Fake News Media", who he called "the real enemy of the people". Trump initially had described the idea as an "incredible offer". "I think what's going to matter is how they're going to embrace economic policies that cut taxes", Gardner said.
"Look, the fact is we got along well", Trump said in the interview, which was taped on Thursday.
She said Trump was saying "no" to answering additional questions - although that didn't appear to be the case because he elaborated on Russian Federation.
'I say to our people also around the world ...
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The US citizens Russia would like to question are related to Moscow's case against the financier Bill Browder, a fierce Putin critic who was instrumental in the US imposing sanctions in 2012 on top Russian officials accused of corruption.
Their first meeting, however, has stirred condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike over a series of comments Trump made that appeared to place him unduly close to Russian Federation.
She said: "I think it must once again become normal for Russian and American presidents to meet". If Coats had been in Washington instead of the conference, he would have been informed about the plan, one source familiar with the inner workings of the White House said on condition of anonymity. One, proposed by Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders, would have demanded President Trump speak with special counsel Robert Mueller.
A White House spokesperson, Lindsay Walters, wanted to make clear that the president "respects the independence of the Fed".
But that clarifying remark was washed away on Friday when the president took to Twitter to press the Fed to change course.
Just a day earlier, the White House had said the offer was under consideration, even though the State Department called Russia's allegations against the Americans, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, "absurd". On Tuesday, the Russian general prosecutor's office said to little fanfare that Putin misspoke and meant $400 000.
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