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Under Fire, Donald Trump Says no President Has Been as Tough on Russia

After a Cabinet meeting in the White House, Trump was asked by a reporter if Russia was still targeting the US, and he responded, "No," directly contradicting what his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said Monday.

PTI

Updated:July 18, 2018, 11:22 PM IST
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Under Fire, Donald Trump Says no President Has Been as Tough on Russia
US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands after their joint news conference in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo: Reuters)
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Washington: President Donald Trump has claimed that no American president has been as "tough" on Russia as he has been, amid criticism of his Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After a Cabinet meeting in the White House, Trump was asked by a reporter if Russia was still targeting the US, and he responded, "No," directly contradicting what his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said Monday.

This was his first Cabinet meeting after his return from a week-long European trip at the end of which he had a summit meeting Putin in Helsinki.

His comments came a day after he said he misspoke during Monday's Helsinki summit when he appeared to side with Putin over claims of Kremlin meddling in US elections.

We're doing very well, and let me tell you, we are doing very well, and we're doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russia. And there's been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia, Trump told reporters during his Cabinet meeting at the White House.

All you have to do is look at the numbers, look at what we've done, look at sanctions, look at ambassadors not there, look, unfortunately, at what happened in Syria recently. And I think President Putin knows that better than anybody; certainly, a lot better than the media, Trump said.

Earlier in a tweet, Trump said that Russia has agreed to help with North Korea, where relationships with the US is very good and the process is moving along.

"While the NATO meeting in Brussels was an acknowledged triumph, with billions of dollars more being put up by member countries at a faster pace, the meeting with Russia may prove to be, in the long run, an even greater success, Trump said.

Many positive things will come out of that meeting, he asserted.

Trump said so many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved his press conference performance in Helsinki. Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come! said the US president. PTI

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| Edited by: Naqshib Nisar
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