United States intel chief in tight spot over Trump and Russian Federation meddling

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin answer questions during a joint news conference after their summit on July 16 in Helsinki


Moscow signaled openness to another meeting between the two leaders, as Trump continued to face criticism over his first meeting with his Russian counterpart in Helsinki, where he seemed to accept Putin's denials of meddling in the 2016 election - despite findings by United States intelligence services.

"Well, you're right, I don't know what happened at that meeting", Coats said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

Coats made those surprise admissions Thursday in his first public comments since rebutting Trump's questioning of the USA intelligence assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election was multi-faceted, but a key pillar involved using social media to spread fake news and disinformation to sow political discord and promote Trump's candidacy.

Trump did walk back his post-Putin summit comments on Tuesday, saying he'd misspoken when he said he saw no reason why it was Russian Federation that had interfered in the 2016 election.

When the America's intel honcho gave an interview yesterday to Andrea Mitchell, he seemed amazingly surprised to hear that Trump offered to host his Russian counterpart later this year.

Those tough remarks came just days before the Trump-Putin summit - and that was not the first time Coats has made statements starkly at odds with his boss. The official did not specify if that meant Russia's interference in USA elections. In other words, Putin and Trump merely emphasized the "necessity" of reforming and restoring inter-state relations, speaking optimistically about the resolution of existing crises.

Later in the day, Colbert launched a series of rants, asking in one if "the Fall of 2018" will mark Putin's visit, or "the Fall of Democracy". Despite the week's furore, Trump also said he was looking forward to his second meeting with the Russian leader.

This move comes as President Donald Trump continues to defend his controversial relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the two world leaders met in Helsinki earlier this week, highlighting the disconnect between the president's rhetoric and his administration's policies.

The notion that President Trump would invite a tyrant to Washington is beyond belief.

Standing alongside Mr Putin, Mr Trump said he did not see any reason why it "would" be Russian Federation that meddled in the U.S. presidential election. "There is such unbridled passion that even people who can normally have a reasonable discussion, just go overboard", Rivera said.

Even before the visit, the US senators and 18 Democratic members of the House committee on foreign affairs have called on Trump to call off the meeting with Putin.

The White House, with Trump under fierce criticism in the United States, did on Thursday reject Putin's proposal that Russian authorities be present for the questioning of Americans it accuses of "illegal activities", including a former USA ambassador to Moscow. A few of Trump's most loyal toadies defended him.

"There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems. but they can ALL be solved!"

While 83 percent of Democrats disapproved of Trump's handling of the summit - and only 8 percent approved - 68 percent of Republicans approved of the president's showing and 21 percent said they disapproved.

"The added funds will provide equipment to support ongoing training programs and operational needs, including capabilities to enhance Ukraine's command and control, situational awareness systems, secure communications, military mobility, night vision, and military medical treatment", the Pentagon said in a statement.

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