White House Postpones Proposed Visit By Putin, Citing Russia 'Witch Hunt'


Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said last week that Trump and Putin made "important verbal agreements" related to arms control and cooperation in Syria. They strongly rebuked Trump's comments during a joint press conference in Helsinki when he stood beside Putin and denied USA intelligence findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

"President Putin, he just said it's not Russian Federation".

In a Tuesday morning tweet, President Trump claimed he was "concerned" that Russian Federation is "fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election".

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee and Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho, both Republicans, said in a joint statement that they were "eager to continue the important work being done by our committees to push back on Russian Federation".

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Trump has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, and the European Union has responded in kind. He noted that countries "that have treated us unfairly on trade for years" are coming to Washington to negotiate.

Undaunted by the backlash in his own party to his first meeting, Trump invited Putin to a White House meeting sometime this autumn. Bolton suggested the decision not to meet sooner was due to special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election. "They definitely don't want Trump!"

The Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines bill would require extensive, tough sanctions within 10 days of a declaration by the director of national intelligence that Russian Federation was interfering in an American political campaign for the presidency, Senate or House.

Shortly after Trump's appearance with Putin in Helsinki, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued an unusual statement reaffirming his view that Russia's election attacks are already ongoing - something Trump's post on Tuesday did not. At the G-7 summit in June, he reportedly remarked that Crimea should belong to Russia because "everyone there speaks Russian" (besides advocating Russia's re-inclusion into the G-7), whereas in early July, the White House issued a statement announcing that the Crimea sanctions against Russia will continue until Crimea was restituted to Ukraine.

He also cautions against Putin's ulterior motives in maintaining a relationship with the U.S. He believes that Russian intelligence has learned from the DNC hacks and may interfere with U.S. elections in the coming years.

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Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina criticized Trump directly.

Democrats need to take just two seats in the Senate in November to gain a majority.

Unlike the existing version of the act, the proposed modified waiver requires presidential certifications created to protect U.S. alliances, military operations, and sensitive technology, said a statement issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee after the two committees announced details of the conference report. Mark Warner, D-Va., the Democratic leader on the Intelligence Committee, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Banking Committee will look at legislation that would strengthen sanctions beyond the penalties that Congress voted overwhelmingly past year to impose.

Merkel gives a thumbs up as Trump plans to meet Putin again
The State Department, by contrast, rejected the proposal - which Trump days earlier had called an "incredible offer - as "absurd". The White House backtrack came just before the Senate voted overwhelmingly against the idea.

Trump initially denied the Federal Bureau of Investigation findings at the press conference following the one-on-one meeting with Putin. They asked for more questioning, more documents and more money for states to secure their election infrastructure.