In a White House press briefing on July 23rd, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders answered journalist questions, shedding some light on the Trump-Putting meeting in Helsinki on July 16th and the US President’s stance on the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Election.
Regarding Donald Trump’s stance on the alleged Russian meddling in the election, Ms. Sanders responded that Trump has faith in the US intelligence agencies and that he and all members of his staff maintain that Russia did, in fact, meddle in the 2016 election. He, however, completely rejects and even calls a “hoax” all accusations of campaign collusions.
In response to claims that the President is taking an aggressive vocal approach towards Iran and North Korea, but not against Russia, the White House’s stance on the matter is that “The President has been incredibly tough on Russia. He’s brought it up directly to him in person every single time that they have met. He has put unprecedented sanctions and been extremely tough on Russia across a number of fronts which we’ve addressed here many times before. Frankly, I’m not sure why that is so hard for the media to write about.”
Sarah Sanders was also asked a question regarding comprehensive agreements between Trump and Putin as a result of the Helsinki deal.
Regarding comprehensive agreements between Trump and Putin as a result of the Helsinki deal, Sarah Sanders said that that the only specific agreement made was that the Russia and US national security teams would continue discussions at a working level. She, however, confirmed that Ambassador David Balton plans to have a meeting, a follow-up with his Russian counterpart in August. He will further meet with European allies.
On July 16th in Helsinki, Trump refused to condemn Putin for the alleged election meddling, he claimed joint responsibility by US and Russia. His exact words, after his meeting with Putin, being “He just said it’s not Russia, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
The press conference also had Putin offer to question Americans for the Russian election meddling, something which the White House rejected on the following day.
The following day, July 17th, Trump spoke in an announcement blaming his statement on a grammatical mistake, saying that he should have said “wouldn’t,” meaning it was apparent that Russia meddled.
On July 18th, Trump, when asked by a reporter whether Russia was still targeting the US, answered “No.” Which Ms. Sanders claimed was Donald Trump saying “no” to more questions.
The entire period since the July 16th meeting has shown that Donald Trump refuses to believe that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. He refuses to acknowledge that fact, despite the White House’s attempts in the face of Sarah Sanders claiming that he does.
CNN reports that Trump’s convictions are allowing Russia to “choke” Trump’s presidency and sow chaos in the US. CNN claim that this is precisely Putin’s wish.
All the contradictions are providing a picture that Trump is not entirely sure what he is doing. The pressure of mainstream media and political opponents who are calling him a traitor, as well as requiring a debriefing of translator, because the Democratic party apparently does not trust the US President to protect their interests is painting a picture of confusion and is doing more harm than good.
It is preventing a very valuable détente attempt.