Home United States USA — mix The Latest: Trump wishes he'd asked Putin who he supported

The Latest: Trump wishes he'd asked Putin who he supported

74
0
SHARE

President Donald Trump says there’s one question he wishes he would have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Germany last week: “Were you actually supporting me?”.
The Latest on the controversy surrounding a meeting last summer between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton (all times local) :
8: 30 p.m.
President Donald Trump says there’s one question he wishes he would have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Germany last week: “Were you actually supporting me?”
That’s what Trump tells Reuters in a White House interview Wednesday before departing for Paris, France.
U. S. intelligence officials have concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election in order to bolster Trump’s candidacy and weaken his rival, Hillary Clinton.
But Trump is doubting that conclusion. He says that his commitment to building up the military and increasing U. S. energy production stand opposed to Putin’s aims.
He says: “It’s really the one question I wish I would have asked Putin: Were you actually supporting me?”
Trump also insists the White House “is functioning beautifully” despite what he calls a “hoax made up by the Democrats.
___
8: 30 p.m.
President Donald Trump is refusing to dispute Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that Trump believed him when he said that Russia didn’t meddle in the 2016 election during their meeting last week.
Asked in an interview with Reuters Wednesday whether he believed Putin, Trump continued to question the conclusion of U. S. intelligence officials that Russia meddled to help Trump win.
He says: “Look. Something happened and we have to find out what it is, because we can’t allow a thing like that to happen to our election process.”
But he added of Putin: “Somebody did say if he did do it you wouldn’t have found out about it. Which is a very interesting point.”
Still Trump insists that “There was zero coordination” between his campaign and Russia, ” adding: “It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
___
5: 50 p.m.
President Donald Trump says he was unaware of his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer until recently.
Trump tells Reuters in a White House interview before departing for Paris Wednesday that he “didn’t know until a couple of days ago when I heard about this.”
Trump also defended his son’s decision to take the meeting, saying he thinks “many people” would have done the same.
Donald Trump Jr. was told the lawyer had compromising information on Hillary Clinton that was being shared as part of a Russian effort to help his father.
Trump also said he spent the first 20 or 25 minutes of his lengthy meeting with Vladimir Putin confronting him last week and asking him about election meddling. Trump says Putin denied the conclusions of U. S. intelligence officials that Russia was behind the effort.
____
5: 40 p.m.
A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley says he’s working with the Justice Department’s special counsel to ensure that there won’t be a conflict if he calls the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to testify.
Grassley said earlier Wednesday that the panel plans to question Paul Manafort and will subpoena him if necessary. A spokesman later said the committee is working with special counsel Robert Mueller to ensure no conflicts exist with his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The Judiciary panel is also investigating the matter.
Spokesman Taylor Foy says the committee will work with Mueller if conflicts exist.
Manafort participated in a meeting last summer in which a Russian lawyer was prepared to pass on potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
____
4: 30 p.m.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee says his panel wants to look at the use of Russian social media “trolls” or “bots” and whether they are connected to President Donald Trump’s campaign or its digital strategy.
California Rep. Adam Schiff says Schiff said those issues would fall under the scope of the larger probe, including the Trump campaign’s data analytics. That digital operation was overseen by Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner.
Schiff says the Russian use of social media is “certainly something we want to explore” as part of the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign.
___
3: 15 p.m.
President Donald Trump says he gets along “very, very well” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But he says the Russian leader would have preferred to have his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Trump tells Christian broadcast station CBN in an interview taped Wednesday that Clinton would have weakened the U. S. military and driven up energy prices — two things Putin would have welcomed.
U. S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election to bolster Trump, and to hurt Clinton.
Trump also says in his first interview following a lengthy face-to-face meeting with Putin that he thinks the two “get along very, very well.” But he says Putin will always want “what’s good for Russia, and I want what’s good for the United States.”
____
2: 00 p.m.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are questioning the Trump administration’s decision to settle a money laundering case with a Russian real estate firm in light of revelations that the company was represented by the same Russian lawyer who met last year with President Donald Trump’s son.
The letter sent by House Judiciary ranking member John Conyers and other Democrats asks whether lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was involved in settlement negotiations between Russian real estate firm Prevezon Holdings Ltd. and the Justice Department. Prevezon agreed last May to pay $6 million to the government to avoid a trial on charges the firm laundered proceeds from a $230 million tax fraud.
Veselnitskaya represented Dennis Katsyv, Prevezon’s owner. Katsyv backed a lobbying campaign last year aimed at scuttling Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russian interests.
___
1: 11 p.m.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he and the panel’s top Democrat have agreed to bring former Trump campaign official Paul Manafort before the panel.
In an interview with Iowa reporters, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says Manafort was at a meeting involving President Donald Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer. The Republican senator says he has several questions and the panel would subpoena Manafort if necessary.
Grassley said he and Sen. Dianne Feinstein are working closely on it.
According to emails released Tuesday by Donald Trump Jr., he appeared eager to accept information from the Russian government that could have damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
____
10: 34 a.m.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is deflecting questions about the latest revelation of President Donald Trump’s son meeting last June with a Russian lawyer for possible dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Ryan told reporters on Wednesday that it’s important to get to the bottom of what happened, but that’s a job for special counsel Robert Mueller and the congressional intelligence committees.
According to emails released Tuesday by Donald Trump Jr., he appeared eager to accept information from the Russian government that could have damaged Clinton’s campaign.
Ryan said it is “absolutely unacceptable” that Russia meddled in the presidential election. He said it was “very important that these professionals do their jobs” in the investigations.
____
9: 45 a.m.
President Donald Trump is pushing back against any reports of dysfunction in his administration, writing on Twitter that the White House is “functioning perfectly, focused on HealthCare, Tax Cuts/Reform & many other things.”
The president, who typically watches a steady diet of news on cable television, adds that he has “very little time for watching T. V.”
Trump was spending part of his morning responding to reports that he has raged against the latest development with Russia.

Continue reading...