Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Sen. Udall: Pompeo Left Too Many Questions Unanswered About Trump, Putin

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during a press conference at the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations on the campus of Stanford University on Tuesday in Stanford Calif Poll: Americans give Trump negative marks for Helsinki perfo...
Glenn Montgomery | 27 July, 2018, 22:45

At a joint news conference with Putin after the two leaders met privately, Trump downplayed the conclusions of America's intelligence agencies and said he accepted Putin's assertion that Russian Federation did not interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.

Trump has suggested that USA opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea could be reconsidered.

The White House said on Wednesday that President Trump wants to delay a planned follow-up meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russian Federation until after the investigation of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is concluded - which the White House predicted would be next year.

Trump has previously suggested that USA opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea could be reconsidered. He then abruptly issued the invitation to Putin.

President Trump suggested Tuesday that he believes the Russian government has exhausted of his leadership and now may attempt to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections to help the Democrats.

Lawmakers - and America's allies around the world - have been eager to learn the details of Trump's one-on-one July 16 meeting with Putin, including whether Trump made any secret promises to Putin or as-yet-undisclosed verbal agreements.

Testifying before Senate Committee on Foreign Relations yesterday, Pompeo assured Senators that the U.S. does not and will not recognise the Kremlin's purported annexation of Crimea. "I know. I briefed him on it for over a year", said Pompeo, who served as Central Intelligence Agency director before Trump tapped him for the secretary of state job this spring.

"Is there some strategy behind creating doubt in US senators' minds, on both sides of the aisle, doubt in the American people as to what his motivations are?" added Corker, a frequent critic of Trump.

He compared it to his own meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Pompeo also tried to convince senators that Trump knows Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election - despite the commander-in-chief's calling it "fake news" and "a hoax".

"Yes, I did. Yes, I did", Putin said.

Trump has not hidden his disdain for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, regularly referring to it in public comments and on Twitter as a "witch hunt".

Pompeo did say that US policy toward Russian Federation has not changed as a result of the meeting and that "no commitment" was made to ease USA sanctions.

Russian Federation scoffed at a U.S. declaration saying that Washington would not accept Moscow's annexation of Crimea, suggesting Washington's Ukraine policy could change in the future.

She suggested that Washington's Crimea policy could still change - perhaps even under a new leader in the future.

Mason asked Putin: "Did you want President Trump to win the election?"

"In concert with allies, partners, and the global community, the United States rejects Russia's attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine's territorial integrity is restored", Pompeo said in the declaration, which was released by the State Department shortly before he was to testify.

Russian Federation will see no relief on Crimea-related sanctions until it returns control of the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine, he added.

Russia's Foreign Ministry quickly dismissed Pompeo's comments.

Pompeo said Trump was "very clear" with Putin about USA positions.

Trump said he would give the red-and-white ball to his 12-year-old son, Barron, a soccer fan.

"Because he talked about bringing the U.S. -Russia relationship back to normal", Putin said, responding to the first part of the question and ignoring the latter half.

He said conversations between the president and his Cabinet should remain private.

Corker also stressed that senators have "serious doubts" about the White House and how it conducts foreign policy.

Democrats like Senator Chris Coons voiced concern about how Trump's courting of Putin unsettled long-standing allies.

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