Trump contradicts himself with the Russian meddling dispute

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During the official Trip to Asia, President Trump contradicted himself when he said that he believes what the U.S agencies say about the interference of Russian during the American presidential elections last year, just after saying he believed President Putin when he said that Russia had nothing to do with that.

Since he got to the Oval Office, Donald Trump has been trying to improve the American relations with Russia, at the same time that media and the U.S agencies have brought the possible intervention of Russia in the elections favoring Donald Trump.

Russia meddling US elections, Donald Trump Asia tour, Putin and Trump
Some experts argue Putin is playing Trump. Image credit: Reuters

Now, while Trump is trying to gain support in Asia against North Korea’s missile projects, it seems as if the Russian meddling issue continues to haunt him.

“I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election,” Trump said of Putin at a news conference in Hanoi with Vietnam’s president, Trần Đại Quang. “As to whether I believe it, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our intelligence agencies, I’ve worked with them very strongly,” he added.

Is Trump being played by Vladimir Putin?

The Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections has been a significant issue ever since Donald Trump was elected president. Days before Trump started his long trip throughout Asia, Trump’s campaign chairman was accused of laundering millions of dollars through overseas shell companies. As well, his campaign adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Now, Trump has brought the Russian issue to the forefront during his last stops in Asia.

On Saturday, Trump told reporters that he really believes Putin when he denies the accusations. He said that every time Putin sees him, he denies over and over again the Russian interference in the elections to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning. The two presidents last spoke during the APEC international summit in Danang, Vietnam, where Trump assured Putin reassured again they had nothing to do with the issue.

“Every time he sees me, he says: ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe — I really believe — that when he tells me that, he means it” said Trump on the way to Hanoi aboard Air Force One on Saturday.

According to some U.S intelligence agents, including former CIA director John Brennan, Trump is being played by Vladimir Putin. In fact, Brennan said that Putin is very clever and that he knows that Trumps likes to be flattered. As well, he said that he considers that Trump is either intimidated by or afraid of what Putin could do regarding the results of the investigations.

Brennan also explained that Trump is dismissing a lot of the personnel of the agency to delegitimize the assessment of the CIA regarding the Russia meddling in the elections. On the other hand, James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said there is a clear threat from Russia.

“To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding and, in fact, poses a peril to this country,” said Clapper after saying that the threat is “manifest and obvious.”

However, some might think that Trump is trying to improve the Russian-American relations because Rusia could be a possible partner of the United States to face all the problems related to North Korea and Syria.  On the other hand, Trump also said that the whole Russian matter is just part of an “internal political standoff” in the US, to fight against their president.

Trumps tries to side with Putin and the U.S agencies at the same time

Russia meddling US elections, Donald Trump Asia tour, Putin and Trump
The president also discussed several points with the Chinese president during his Asia tour. Image credit: NewsX

Whatever the aims behind Trump’s declarations are, the fact is that he tried to improve his answer today by saying that he is with the American agencies, and he denied what he said about Putin by declaring that he believes Putin’s sincerity when he says he feels Russia didn’t interfere.

The U.S intelligence agencies concluded that Russia did interfere in the elections to help Trump defeat Clinton.

Last Sunday, Trump also admitted that the government has imposed on Russia as punishment for election meddling. As well, he rectified the number of agencies that had reported the Russian meddling, saying that there were not 17 as he stated before but four agencies.

“They were sanctioned at a very high level, and that took place very recently,” he said. “It’s now time to get back to healing a world that is shattered and broken,” said Trump.

Trump planned to go from Manila to Washington on Monday; however, he added one more day to the schedule, and now he is intended to go to the Association for Southeast Asian Nations conference on Monday. There, he probably will push countries to make pressure on North Korea to stop it from developing nuclear weapons.  As well, he will probably move forward to negotiate bilateral trade agreements instead of multilateral ones.

Source: TIME

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