White House Delays Next Trump-Putin Summit Until 2019

A Russian national flag and a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin are waved at a celebration of the third anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea in Sevastopol. AFP

Putin’s Not So Sure He Wants to Meet With Trump in Washington

US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference after their meeting in Helsinki on 16 July.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came as the White House postponed a follow-up meeting with Putin amid criticism of Trump's conflicting statements on Russian election interference.

On Tuesday, Maddow reported the White House "skillfully cut" from its video of the event Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asking Putin if he wanted Trump to win the 2016 presidential election.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said Trump wants to wait until after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election is completed.

On July 19, amid the controversy over Trump's comments in Helsinki, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that the president directed Bolton to "invite President Putin to Washington in the fall". It says the transcript has been updated for presidential records.

Pompeo returned fire during more than three hours of testimony-his first open exchange with lawmakers since Trump's meetings with Putin and Kim.

National Security Adviser John R. Bolton said they want to hold the next meeting without the cloud of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

In the interview, Pompeo acknowledged that he was not in the room when Trump and Putin met for almost two hours in Helsinki.

Greece: Death toll from wildfires hits 74
Apart from the dead, which included children, hospitals treated 187 people, most for burns, with 10 listed in serious condition. Winds of above 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) in Mati caused a "sudden progression of fire" through the village, said Maliri.

On Wednesday, Pompeo said critics were unfairly characterizing Trump administration policy toward Russia as soft, and he ticked off a list of aggressive steps taken, including the expulsion of 60 Russian spies and diplomats, the sanctioning of Russian oligarchs and the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine.

Trump walked back his position later, saying he did accept the US intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election.

He also cautions against Putin's ulterior motives in maintaining a relationship with the U.S. He believes that Russian intelligence has learned from the DNC hacks and may interfere with U.S. elections in the coming years.

The "Crimea Declaration" appeared to try to quell suggestions that Washington could accept Moscow's 2014 occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula following the Trump-Putin meeting and questions about what Trump agreed to in the one-on-one talks.

Democrats have demanded access to Mr. Trump's translator from the Helsinki summit, hoping to glean details about what was discussed in two hours of one-on-one talk between the USA and Russian leaders, repeatedly pressing Mr. Pompeo for details on possible secret deals or agreements.

In an unsuccessful bid to blunt some of the hostile questioning, particularly on Russia, Pompeo before the hearing issued a statement titled the "Crimea Declaration" in which he said the USA will continue to insist that Ukraine's territorial integrity be restored.

Mr Trump has previously suggested that U.S. opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea could be reconsidered. "We heard nothing new", the Russian embassy said in a statement on Facebook.

Sixty-nine percent say they believe there was Russian interference in the 2016 election, compared to 24 percent who said there wasn't.

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