White House addresses Trump-Putin transcript issue, says it was not 'malicious'

Donald Trump says Russia will ‘push hard’ for Democrats during November elections

White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that Trump would postpone a second meeting with Putin until next year after a federal probe into the alleged meddling is over.

President Donald Trump's top national security aides sought to fend off accusations the president is too soft on Russia by declaring Wednesday that the US will never recognize the annexation of Crimea and by postponing a second proposed summit between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Trump rejected the criticism sparked by his Helsinki news conference with Putin and said he misspoke in a series of flip-flops over the summit.

The declaration reaffirmed what has always been US policy on Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

In a statement released Wednesday by the State Department, Pompeo said the USA will hold to its long-standing principle of refusing to recognize Kremlin claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force, in violation of global law. "There's no relief of Crimea-related sanctions until they return the Ukraine", Pompeo said.

The U.S. Congress tends to tread lightly with Central Intelligence Agency directors, and Mike Pompeo was no exception.

Pompeo replied by saying that some of Trump's comments "actually achieve important policy outcomes", but the administration should be judged by its actions rather than the president's words.

The White House says the omission "was by no means deliberate" and that the transcript has been updated for presidential records.

Russia's Embassy in Washington has accused US officials of "living in a different reality" after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated America's rejection of Moscow's annexation of Crimea.




Speaking about a possible new summit between the Russian and U.S. leaders, Putin's top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said earlier this week that the Kremlin received several days after the Helsinki meeting a USA proposal to organise a new summit in Washington "at the end of the year".

The White House announced last week that Trump had directed Bolton to extend the invitation to Putin amid criticism of Trump's handling of a summit with close North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and subsequent meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the committee, during a line of questioning about Trump's private meeting with Putin, which raised deep concerns among lawmakers and national security experts.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that Trump asked Bolton to arrange for the meeting to take place in the fall.

More than half of American adults say they believe it's likely there will be Russian interference in November's midterm elections, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released on Wednesday.

President Trump's top diplomat faced withering questions from lawmakers Wednesday about the president's ability to steer USA foreign policy and his lack of transparency, as the White House scrambled to present a tougher stance toward Russian Federation.

He also urged senators to consider the policies Trump has adopted toward Russian Federation, apart from his rhetoric about the attack on the election.

And facing lawmakers upset with what they see as presidential bungling, loose rhetoric and inconsistency on foreign policy, Mr. Pompeo urged senators to look beyond Mr. Trump's own words and instead pay attention to what the administration does on the ground.

"The State Department makes declarations and statements on Crimea quarterly".

But Pompeo would not disclose what commitments on denuclearization Kim made to Trump during their summit in Singapore.

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