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As Optimistic Trump Opens Door to Putin, These Words May Land Trump in Hot Water

07-16-2018

Following Monday's historic bilateral talks between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two leaders held a joint press conference at their summit in Helsinki, Finland.

Both men appeared to be optimistic about future relations between the US and Russia.

"Our relationship has never been worse; however, that changed as of four hours ago," Trump told reporters.

President Trump had referred to Russia as merely "a competitor" just days before meeting Putin, but some say Russia is actually an aggressor and has even committed acts of war against the US and other countries with its cyber-attacks on the US election in 2016 and its efforts to conquer neighboring countries like Georgia and Ukraine.

But Trump made it clear he believed the Russian leader when Putin denied his country had any hand in meddling in US political affairs.

"He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be," Trump said.

As to charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the president dismissed them as being ludicrous, saying he beat Democratic contender Hillary Clinton fair and square.

"We ran a brilliant campaign, and that's why I'm president," Trump declared.

Meanwhile, to the dismay of many of his critics, Trump is adamant about his attempts to improve diplomatic ties with the Kremlin, insisting the two nations must find ways to "cooperate in pursuit of shared interests."

And the president went on to blame both Russia and the US for rising tensions between the two countries regarding charges of election meddling.

"I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. We've all been foolish," Trump said. "We should have, frankly, had this dialogue a long time ago. I think that we're all to blame. I think that the United States has now stepped forward along with Russia."

But CBN News' David Brody predicts those words might land Trump in hot water.

"Let's be honest," Brody said. "If Barack Obama had uttered those words the conservative movement and the Republican Party would be up in arms. That's a real problem for this president to say that on the national stage."

Trump has repeatedly denied that there was any collusion between anyone in his campaign and the Russian government. But the question of collusion is different from the question of Russian hacking or election meddling, for which US investigators recently indicted 12 Russians.

CBN News National Security Correspondent Erik Rosales agreed with Brody's assessment, noting, "He did not specifically come out and denounce Russia... I mean, we have intelligence reports saying Russia was behind it. We're talking about a Russian leader who knows all about cybersecurity – he was a Russian intelligence officer himself."

Meanwhile, US lawmakers and political observers on both sides are warning Trump not to trust Putin. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after the Trump-Putin news conference there's "no question" Russia interfered in the 2016 election and "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals."

And Middle East expert Joel Rosenberg used a stark term to describe Putin, saying "he's evil."  

"I don't believe in walking into the room with a world leader who's an enemy, who's a strategic threat unless you have a specific game plan," Rosenberg told CBN News.

Watch CBN News' Faith Nation coverage and analysis at 11:00 a.m. EST.

The summit comes right after Trump met with NATO leaders, taking a hard stance on demanding they pay their fair share in the military defense alliance that exists to hold Russia and other rogue actors in check.

Trump says getting along with Russia is a good thing, but should the US try to just get along with a leader who has a history of tyrannical abuses of power? The CBN News FAITH NATION team brings you the full press conference with Trump and Putin as well as LIVE analysis of Monday's summit.

Watch Faith Nation Live

 

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