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The Kremlin Loved Trump's Press Conference with Putin — But It Wants More Pro-Russia Policy from the White House: Report

August 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

At the summit, Trump cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings about Russia' interference in the 2016 election.

U.S. intelligence officials believe that the Kremlin was delighted by President Donald Trump's performance with Russian President Vladimir Putin at their summit and joint press conference in Helsinki in July, according to a new report from CNN.

At the summit, Trump cast doubt on the intelligence community's findings that Putin had directed his government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election on his behalf. Trump said he believed Putin's denials of any such efforts, and he repeatedly praised the authoritarian leader, calling him “powerful” and “strong.”

Trump behavior at the summit led to a bipartisan outcry, which prompted Trump to try to walk back some of his defense of Putin.

CNN reports that American officials have concluded that the Kremlin was pleased by the events “based on a broad range of intelligence.”

However, it notes that the Russian government is “puzzled” that the amicable meeting of leaders has not led to more pro-Russian policies from the U.S. Just last week, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Russia in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.

But the administration was essentially compelled by law to impose the sanctions. This fact reflects the extent to which, however friendly Trump may wish to be with Russia, his hands are tied in certain crucial ways by Congress.

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