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Standing Next to Putin, Trump Lashes Out at Intelligence Agencies

HeadlineJul 17, 2018

President Trump is meeting with congressional lawmakers on Capitol Hill today as he faces bipartisan criticism over his decision to lash out at his own intelligence agencies over the investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, while Trump was speaking at a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin following their summit in Helsinki.

President Donald Trump: “I do feel that we have both made some mistakes. I think that the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it’s kept us apart. It’s kept us separated. There was no collusion, at all. Everybody knows it.”

Trump’s comments infuriated both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain called them “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted, “It was nothing short of treasonous.” Trump’s own director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said in a statement, that was reportedly not cleared by the White House, “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.” Even Fox News joined in the chorus of criticism, with Neil Cavuto of Fox Business calling Trump’s comments “disgusting,” and Fox News anchor Bret Baier calling it “surreal.”

We’ll have more on Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin after headlines with Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation. And we’ll go to Helsinki to speak with Sam Husseini, who was credentialed to cover the summit for The Nation magazine but was dragged out of the room before Monday’s press conference while he held a peace of paper that read “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty.”

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