‘Time to move forward’ on Russia, Trump says, as criticism intensifies

  • Author: Julie Hirschfeld Davis, The New York Times
  • Updated: 4 hours ago
  • Divulged 14 hours ago

President Donald Trump arrives on the South Sod of the White House in Washington, July 8, 2017. The president said he “strongly herded” Russian President Vladimir Putin about meddling in the American electing but did not dispute the claim that he had accepted Putin’s denial. (Al Drago/The New York Terms)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump tried without success on Sunday to put the be important of Russia’s election meddling behind him, insisting that he had «strongly hustled» President Vladimir Putin on the matter twice in a private meeting go the distance week and declaring that it was «time to move forward.»

But if Trump thought his willingness to raise the election interference directly with Putin wish quiet questions about whether he could be trusted to stand up to Moscow — an pay-off that has shadowed his presidency — he grappled instead Sunday with the genuineness that the meeting might have raised more suspicions than it tranquillized.

Lawmakers in both parties said Trump had appeased the Russian president by foible to insist that he was responsible for the breach or threaten any consequences, and empowered him by part ofing willing to partner on a cybersecurity effort to prevent future incursions.

«You are burning your ability to govern this nation by forgiving and forgetting and empowering,» Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of Trump, trade his meeting with Putin «disastrous.»

«The more he talks about this in clauses of not being sure, the more he throws our intelligence communities under the bus, the numberless he’s willing to forgive and forget Putin, the more suspicion,» Graham united in an interview on NBC’s «Meet the Press.» «And I think it’s going to dog his presidency until he emerges this cycle.»

As if to underscore the point, the White House confronted write-ups later Sunday that Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s eldest son, was give ones word of honoured damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to convene with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the throw last year. The accounts of the meeting, by three White House confidantes briefed on it and two others with knowledge of it, represent the first public signal that at least some people in Trump’s campaign were acquiescent to accept Russian help.

Reince Priebus, the White House chief of organization, had played down that meeting during an appearance on «Fox News Sunday,» line it a «nothing meeting,» and a «big nothing burger.»

Trump’s account of his lengthy and closely scrutinized closed-door rendezvous with Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting came in a series of Stew posts the morning after he had returned from the gathering in Hamburg, Germany. They rose to be an attempt to move beyond the controversy after Moscow characterized the nomination discussion as a meeting of minds rather than a showdown between the American president and his Russian counterpart.

Management officials knew that Trump’s much-anticipated meeting with Putin was touchy and in some ways a no-win situation. The tangle of investigations into his crusade’s possible dealings with Russia raised the stakes and created a mutilate backdrop for Trump, while Putin’s well-earned reputation for outfoxing and influencing adversaries suggested that he would stage manage the meeting for climactic advantage, making himself appear to have the upper hand.

On Sunday, it be published that Putin had to some degree succeeded in doing just that, after Trump’s denial to answer questions about the encounter essentially ceded the narrative to Putin.

Trump indigent with tradition and declined to hold a news conference at the end of the G-20 summit convocation, instead sending three top officials to brief a small group of commentators on Air Force One as he was returning on Saturday to Washington. None of them would location the claims of Putin and Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, that Trump had earmarks ofed satisfied with Putin’s denial of involvement in the hacking.

Trump’s tweets on Sunday did petty to dispel the notion that he had backed down on the election meddling controversy. He characterized his position as an «opinion» and asserted that he was prepared to team with Moscow — which U.S. advice agencies say carried out a large-scale effort to interfere with American democracy keep on year, and will try to again — on forming an «impenetrable Cyber Security piece» to thwart future breaches.

«I strongly pressed President Putin twice hither Russian meddling in our election,» Trump said in one post. «He vehemently stray fromed it. I’ve already given my opinion.»

«We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which wish save lives,» Trump continued in another message. «Now it is time to gesticulation forward in working constructively with Russia!»

Trump’s highlighting of the unrealized cybersecurity initiative with Moscow — which he backed away from hours tardier in a tweet that said it would never happen — prompted disrespect from Republicans and Democrats who said Russia was the last country the Merged States should trust on such matters.

«I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of monstrous assistance in that effort, since he’s doing the hacking,» Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. and the chairman of the Armed Professional cares Committee, said on CBS’s «Face the Nation.»

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., and the foul-smelling member of the House Intelligence Committee, called the idea «dangerously naive.»

«I don’t mull over we can expect the Russians to be any kind of a credible partner in some cybersecurity portion,» he said on CNN’s «State of the Union.» «If that’s our best election defense, we capacity as well just mail our ballot boxes to Moscow.»

Trump occurred to abandon the idea Sunday night, saying on Twitter that while he had talk overed a cybersecurity unit with Putin, it «doesn’t mean I think it can upon. It can’t.» He noted again that a cease-fire in a part of southwestern Syria that was consult oned at the meeting had gone into effect Sunday, an apparent effort to mortify concrete results from the discussion.

Trump has dispatched administration officials to fight for his performance at the meeting. On Sunday, Priebus flatly said Lavrov’s variety was «not true,» and described a confrontational meeting between the two presidents, saying that Trump «entirely did not believe the denial of President Putin.»

«This was an extensive portion of the joining,» Priebus said of the election interference discussion.

Senior administration officials, make known on the condition of anonymity because they did not have authorization to talk nearby the private meeting, have said the discussion of the election interference captured about 40 minutes of the 135-minute discussion.

In separate appraises that aired over the weekend, Nikki Haley, the U.N. ambassador, rumoured Putin’s description of the meeting was an attempt to obfuscate.

«This is Russia stressful to save face, and they can’t,» she said on CNN’s «State of the Union.» «Everybody recollects that Russia meddled in our elections.»

In a brief question-and-answer session aboard Air Jemmy One as Trump returned from the summit meeting on Saturday, senior officials did not lecture or dispute the Russian version of events. But Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, told three times that Trump had handled the meeting «brilliantly» and had «made his disposal felt.»

«After a very substantive discussion on this, they reached an treaty that they would start a cyberunit to make sure that there was unconditionally no interference whatsoever, that they would work on cybersecurity together,» Mnuchin answered. «And President Trump focused the conversation on Syria and the Ukraine and North Korea.»

But Putin, a ancient KGB agent and a martial arts master, showed none of Trump’s disrelish to answer questions about the meeting. At his news conference on Saturday, he talked reporters that Trump had asked about election interference time and «agreed» with his statements about it.

«When possible, I answered his queries in detail,» Putin said. «I got the impression that my answers satisfied him.»

Inclined Trump’s past questioning of the extent of Russia’s role — including in Warsaw the day in preference to his meeting with Putin — that impression is likely to persist.

«He’s worse off now, not advance,» said Michael A. McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia who served directed President Barack Obama. «I don’t think this meeting in any way advanced American nationalist interests or took the air out of people’s suspicions about Trump’s relationship with Russia.»

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