Published: Sat, July 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

'Say that again?': USA intelligence chief's shocked response to Putin invitation

'Say that again?': USA intelligence chief's shocked response to Putin invitation

Russia's ambassador to the United States says that Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin discussed "concrete proposals" for resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine during their summit in Helsinki.

Just last week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned that the Russian cyber threat to upcoming elections in the USA and other countries is far from over.

Meanwhile, the White House laid out the agenda for a second summit between Trump and Putin in the fall in Washington that would focus on national security concerns.

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018.

Moscow's takeover of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine prompted the United States, the European Union, and others to impose sanctions on Russian Federation.

Mr Trump faced a backlash after contradicting his own intelligence chiefs at a joint post-summit news conference with Mr Putin by doubting Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

The White House later clarified that the president was saying "no" to answering more questions.

"There has never been a president as tough on Russian Federation as I have been", he said.

"I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed", Trump said. She had said on Wednesday the proposal was being considered. Mr Trump also met Mr Putin past year in Germany and Vietnam.

Media captionTrump says he "misspoke" at Putin summit, but is it too late?

In his CNBC interview, Trump also blamed the news media for reporting that he did not publicly confront Putin over the election meddling in Helsinki.

Ms Sanders said "those discussions are already under way" for an autumn meeting between the two presidents.

Following Coats's interview, people close to Trump have reportedly speculated whether Trump would fire Coats, with one source telling Axios that the president never had a liking for him.

Thursday's announcement came as the White House sought to clean up days of confounding Trump statements on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Merkel said the European Union was "ready" to respond if Trump makes good on his threat to slap steep tariffs on foreign cars, a move that would hit Germany's auto industry particularly hard.

In the US presidential campaign that year, Akhmetshin and Veselnitskaya appeared to gain traction.

In a later briefing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted that Trump's "no" actually meant he was not taking any more questions from reporters.

Moments after labeling Russian Federation "by far" the most aggressive foreign actor in cyber activity, Coats was told by moderator Andrea Mitchell that Putin "is coming to the White House in the fall". The law freezes the bank accounts and bars entry to the United States of Russian officials who USA authorities said were responsible for the Russian lawyer's suspicious death.

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