Senate committees plan Russian Federation threat hearings

Mitch Mc Connell

Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump, meanwhile, goes back and forth about what he says he believes or accepts.

"I most want to know what President Trump committed to President Putin at the Helsinki conference in the two hours about which we know very little except what Russian Federation is selectively leaking or characterizing", said Sen.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Trump's warning reflected an intelligence briefing he has received about actual Russian activity or whether he was simply "trolling people", as House Speaker Paul Ryan put it on Tuesday.

He tweeted: "I'm very concerned that Russian Federation will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election". But he said, without offering evidence, "they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats".

The president met with Putin on the sidelines of two global summits a year ago - first Germany, then Vietnam - and both times he invited his Russian counterpart to the White House, according to three current and former administration officials.

Trump, who has offered mixed messages on Russian interference in US elections — at times even calling it a "hoax" — acknowledged in a tweet that the midterms are a likely target. His reasoning? "They definitely don't want Trump".

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Russian Federation has denied election interference.

Putin acknowledged at the summit that he favored the then-Republican nominee because Trump "was the one who wanted to normalize relations with Russian Federation", but has consistently maintained the Kremlin had no part in interfering in the election. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in Washington that the warning lights are "blinking red" about foreign interference, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a warning of his own last week at the Aspen Security Forum.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is planning to hold hearings on: the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); the broad challenges ahead for USA policy toward Russia; Russia's current activities in Syria; and arms control issues, including Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces.

While a clear legislative path is far from certain, and several GOP aides noted potential White House opposition to any new efforts, the push, along with a separate new Russian Federation sanctions package being put together by Sens.

Many Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing Trump's summit performance.

Democrats are seeking to take control of the House of Representatives and Senate in the November elections from the Republicans. Trump's comments provoked widespread outrage, since the American intelligence community had concluded Putin directed operations created to boost Trump over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

"Now we need to wait for the dust to settle, but later it may be possible to discuss these issues in a businesslike manner, but not now", Ushakov said in remarks that were carried on state news agencies and other Russian news organizations. Trump's invitation for Putin to visit Washington has also caused unease.