Trump Vows to Confront Putin on Election Propaganda - Katie Pavlich

Howard TerryJul 14, 2018

At least three top Democrats expressed concern over President Trump's planned meeting in Finland with Russian leader Vladimir Putin scheduled for early next week.

"If the president leaves the Putin meeting without ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy, this meeting will not only be a failure - it will be a grave step backward for the future of the worldwide order and global security".

PHOTO:Russia's President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump talk as Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quan, right, looks on during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam, Nov. 11, 2017. The press release from McCain's office adds a rare GOP name to that list.

Kennedy said he warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Congress will "double down on sanctions...if you screw with the elections this fall".

And today, a spokeswoman for Mrs May insisted the Prime Minister has a good relationship with Mr Trump and is confident a trade deal can be agreed with the United States.

Macron and others said they did not interpret Trump's words as a direct threat to quit the alliance Washington founded in 1949 to contain Soviet expansion.

Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters adds in her statement that "this is consistent with what we have been saying all along".

The President's remarks came just an hour before Deputy Attorney Generla Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of twelve Russian Federation military agents for hacking and stealing American documents and information during the 2016 presidential election. Trump has described a special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russian Federation as a political witch hunt.

Trump's comments come before his summit with Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

After two Europe-centric world wars last century that proved impossible for the U.S.to avoid engaging in, and an ensuing Cold War that cost untold billions of dollars, few would argue that it's in US interests to abandon an alliance that has so far precluded war by one member nation against another.

Rosenstein said the investigation is continuing.

The indictment stands as the clearest Justice Department allegation yet of Russian efforts to interfere, through illegal hacking, in the USA presidential election before Americans went to the polls - and the first to implicate the Russian government directly.

"Will we be talking about meddling?" He also said the other leaders had thanked him for raising the issue of how to support NATO's operations.

The Kremlin denied anew that it tried to sway the election.

But in Russian Federation, where the political system is obsessed with hierarchy, status and displays of raw power, Putin has "already got his victory", said Andrey Kortunov, head of RIAC, a foreign policy think-tank close to the Foreign Ministry.

The defendants reside in Russian Federation. The Russian agents supposedly started planning to release the stolen materials "in or around April 2016", and began "in or around June 2016", using "fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0'". The messages were released through fictitious personas like DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.

"The way the president portrays himself, and how seriously he takes this and the significance he teaches to it is a real matter of concern because it will have a strategic impact", said Bradley P. Moss, a national security litigator.

The display at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation shows how Trump, who views himself as a world-class negotiator, likes to play both good cop and bad cop himself.

The indictment also does not allege that any vote tallies were altered by hacking. "She wanted to go a different route", he told the Sun.

EDITOR'S NOTE - Miller, Lemire and Colvin cover the White House for The Associated Press.

If the involvement of the GRU officers in the hacking effort is proved, it would shatter the Kremlin denials of the Russian state's involvement in the US elections.

He also blamed "the rigged witch hunt" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation for harming U.S. -Russia relations. Perhaps that is why Trump wants to meet with Putin alone.

On Trump's meeting, McCain - who has previously admonished Trump for speaking highly of Putin - said Trump should exhibit loyalty to the country he calls home, rather than to the Russians.

"I thanked President Trump for his support in responding to the appalling use of a nerve agent in Salisbury, after which he expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers", May said after talks with the United States leader at the Chequers residence in Buckinghamshire on Friday. But you never know what happens'.

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