After the Helsinki summit, President Trump walked back his controversial comments made during the press conference, stating that he misspoke and accepts the view that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. He has implied since then that he doesn’t believe Russia is still targeting the United States.
A little over a week after the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who acknowledged that he had wanted Trump to win, Trump claims on Twitter, seemingly without evidence, that the Kremlin is supporting Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections because he is tough on Russia, according to the Washington Post.
“I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!”
All the U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. However, there is no indication that Russia hacked or altered the votes.
Putin said during the press conference in Helsinki he had wanted Trump in the White House because of his willingness to improve U.S.-Russia relations.
Putin said the following when asked if he wanted President Trump to win.
“Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”
Americans don't think President Trump has been tough enough on Russia, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after Trump's summit in Helsinki last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin. https://t.co/eAOTHPllVt— NPR (@NPR) July 25, 2018
Trump has received criticism for his unwillingness to publicly criticize Putin and Russia over interfering in the U.S. presidential election. However, defenders of Trump has pointed to his tough policies against Russia.
Trump’s administration has sanctioned Russian oligarchs and expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the United States in response to the nerve agent Novichok being used to attack a Russian former double agent in Britain.
Bipartisan momentum is building in the Senate to crack down on Russia, even as President Donald Trump prepares to bring Vladimir Putin to Washingtonhttps://t.co/FaQDmTBUXO— POLITICO (@politico) July 25, 2018
Trump critics claim that the president signed the bills into law reluctantly.
President Trump and Putin had an off the record meeting that reportedly lasted two hours. Neither Trump nor Putin has divulged specific details about the discussion they had together.
Amid the backlash from the Helsinki summit, Trump invited Putin to the White House for another meeting this fall. Trump also insisted on Twitter that he did not give in to any of Russia’s demands and their meeting was about proving U.S.-Russia relations.
“When you hear the Fake News talking negatively about my meeting with President Putin, and all that I gave up, remember, I gave up NOTHING, we merely talked about future benefits for both countries. Also, we got along very well, which is a good thing, except for the Corrupt Media!”
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that there are already signs that Russia is planning another attack on the United States electoral process in the midterms.