WASHINGTON(TIP): US President Donald Trump said, July 19, he holds his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin personally responsible for the alleged meddling into the 2016 presidential elections, as he went into damage-control mode to douse a flurry of criticism over his recent comments about Russia.
Trump has been on the defensive for the past two days after failing to defend the American intelligence community during a much-talked about press conference with Putin in Helsinki on Monday, July 16, after their first summit.
The US President seemed to lend credence to his Russian counterpart’s insistence that his government was not involved in the effort to influence the 2016 election campaign. Trump, a Republican, defeated his Democratic party rival Hillary Clinton in the election. Trump’s comments sparked a barrage of criticism from the media and lawmakers across the political spectrum, with many calling on him to correct himself.
Speaking to CBS News, Trump said he would consider Putin culpable because he was Russia’s leader. “I would because he’s in charge of the country just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country,” Trump said.
“So, certainly as the leader of the country you would have to hold him responsible,” he said. Facing huge criticism, Trump quickly took a U-turn and attributed his comments at the joint press conference with Putin to a simple mistake.
Looking forward to 2nd meeting with Putin
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday, July 19, he looked forward to his second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that the first meeting was a success despite howls of criticism at home and abroad
“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed,” he wrote on Twitter
Forces in US trying to derail Peace: Putin
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, July 19, accused forces in the United States of trying to undermine the success of his first summit with US President Donald Trump, and said the two leaders had managed to begin to improve US-Russia ties anyway
Putin, speaking to Russian diplomats from around the world assembled in Moscow, said on Thursday that the summit had been a success overall, but complained about what he described as “powerful” US efforts to sabotage it.
(With inputs from PTI)