White House defends decision to bar CNN reporter

30 July, 2018, 23:56 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Trump 'open' to visiting Moscow for meeting with Putin

US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the Apec Summit in Danang November 11, 2017.

Trump has repeatedly denounced the investigation as a "witch hunt" meant to delegitimize his presidency.

Putin did not specify Friday when he had told Trump about the invitation to Moscow, which he announced at the end of a summit for the so-called BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded on the same day that the president is open to Putin's request and anticipates the Russian president visiting Washington early next year.

Then, National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that plans for an autumn visit would be delayed until 2019.

She asked Mr. Trump some questions about Mr. Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russian Federation and has characterized the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a witch hunt. The president has been widely criticized for failing to publicly denounce Russia's interference in the 2016 USA election and appearing to accept Putin's denials of such activity.

He added that he would consider a visit to Washington but noted there must be "necessary conditions", without further explanation.

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US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said there has been no decision taken yet and Trump has been widely criticized in the country following the Helsinki summit.

In the summer of 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy ran for president, CNN was criticized for airing his early rallies in full and unedited, as the NY real-estate tycoon leap-frogged to the front of a crowded Republican field.

Trump and Putin may meet on the sidelines of an global conference at some point, the Russian government had said, but the upshot of Friday's back-and-forth was that both leaders want another bilateral summit as well at some point.

It is standard protocol for reporters to ask the president questions at such events, and Trump, unlike some of his predecessors, often engages. "I think such comments by news people - as distinguished from commentators - are a mistake", says Paul Janensch, a former newspaper editor who taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in CT. And Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that despite Trump's public statements that allegations of Russian interference are "a hoax" he accepts that Russia did meddle in the 2016 election.

The White House's conflicting messages show Trump's increasingly defiant approach of persisting in the face criticism, according to the WSJ.

"We better not see the Russians' hand in the 2018 election because there's going to be serious consequences", McConnell said during a radio interview Friday in his home state of Kentucky.

Although Trump walked back several comments he made in Helsinki and in the days following bipartisan backlash, his policies are "a lot tougher than previously, and probably not making the Russians very happy", Portman insisted. She also said that the White House does support a free press.

During his campaign, Trump barred reporters from about a dozen media organizations - including The Washington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed - from being credentialed at his rallies, news conferences and other events, and from flying on the press charter plane.


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