Fallout continued, Tuesday, over U.S. President Donald Trump comments – after his summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Americans woke up to a slew of headlines, Tuesday, many concluding that Trump appeared to side with Putin concerning alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. An Ipsos analysis of some 600 thousand tweets in the hours after Trump and Putin’s press conference, showed overwhelmingly negative reactions toward Mr. Trump in every single one of the 50 U.S. states.
During their joint news conference, Monday, a reporter asked Trump about Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election. And what he said next stunned America.
“I have asked President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia,” replied Trump. “I will say this I don’t see any reason why it would be. I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
TRUMP SUPPORTERS CONDEMN PRESIDENT’S REMARKS
Trump political supporters were also vocal in their condemnation of President Trump’s remarks.
Former presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, tweeted: “It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected–immediately.”
Former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci said, “I’d be issuing a statement…The optics of the situation are a disaster.”
“I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression,” tweeted Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. “This is shameful.”
Even Trump’s sometimes ally Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called the summit a “missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.”
Graham added that Trump ought to check a soccer ball Putin gave to Trump for listening devices, “and never allow it in the White House.”
One Republican Senator – Rand Paul – differed from his colleagues, explaining it this way: “Republicans that are making the criticism are either the pro-war Republicans like (Sen. John) McCain and (Sen. Lindsey) Graham or the anti-Trump ones like (Sen. Ben) Sasse,” he told Politico. “They are motivated by their persistent and consistent dislike of the president.”
Other supporters had a more moderate reaction — saying they’re disappointed in Trump’s performance, but pointing out that Trump did not ease up sanctions on Russia.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats released a statement after the press conference.
“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”
Trump later tweeted a sort-of correction after leaving Helsinki saying quote: “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.”
And added we need to get along with Russia.
While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2018
– With reporting from the Associated Press