Rand Paul Blasts 'Ridiculous' Calls for Hearings Following Trump-Putin Summit

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Trump failed to mention Russia's aggression toward Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea, its involvement in Syria, and its aggressive cyber operations around the globe, as well as allegations that it has poisoned former Russian spies overseas, that it played a role in the downing of a Malaysian airliner in 2014, and, above all, that it interfered in the 2016 USA election.

Trump stunned the world on Monday by shying away from criticising the Russian leader for Moscow's actions to undermine the election and cast doubt on U.S. intelligence agencies, prompting calls by some USA lawmakers for tougher sanctions and other actions to punish Russia. "There was no collusion at all".

Schumer also urged the Senate to take up legislation to boost security for US elections and to revive a measure passed earlier by the Judiciary Committee to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.

"I actually prefer Obama's approach, because I think that the USA and Russian Federation should try to cooperate", he said.

However, he quickly added: "It could be other people". The Wisconsin Republican said "there is no question" Russian Federation interfered in the elections and said there is "no moral equivalence" between the two countries.

Mr. Trump spoke to reporters as he met with a group of GOP lawmakers at the White House. I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation.

According to NBC News, before his prepared remarks Tuesday afternoon, Trump's national security advisers convened a previously unscheduled meeting.

Trump's Europe trip "revealed that the president is now unbound, acting in accordance with his visceral beliefs about America's role in the world", said Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution.

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In another tweet Tuesday morning, Trump took credit for pledges from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies at a summit last week in Brussels to meet their targets for defence spending - a move he said was "bad for Russian Federation".

"Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests and it does not share our values", he said. He said his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting was "great" but he "had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation".

"We are doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018", he said.

Even before the allegations of Russian meddling, tensions were high over Moscow's concerns about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expansion, Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its military backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

Back at the White House, Paul's comments drew a presidential tweet of gratitude.

Even if Trump did meant "wouldn't" instead of "would", it doesn't detract at all from his equating Putin's assertions with Coats's findings. And spectacle there certainly was: NATO-bashing, humiliation of Theresa May, rudeness to the queen-even a balloon of a giant, diapered, angry baby Trump, holding a smart phone high above London.

He went on to say Mr Trump had shown he was both "unable" and "unwilling" to stand up to Mr Putin, labelling the U.S. leader's performance a "pathetic rout".

Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the worldwide stage with a man he has described as an important USA competitor - but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader.

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