WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday rejected a Vladimir Putin-backed effort to hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine on the region’s future, distancing itself from the idea in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s controversial summit with the Russian leader. Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, said the two leaders had discussed the possibility of a referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit. But Trump’s
WASHINGTON — Unbowed by swirling criticism of his summit encounter with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump swiftly invited the Russian leader to the White House this fall for a second get-together. Cleanup from the first continued with no letup Thursday, as Trump belatedly decided Putin’s “incredible offer” of shared U.S.-Russia investigations was no good after all. A White House meeting would be a dramatic extension of legitimacy to the Russian leader, who has long
WASHINGTON — His toughness with Vladimir Putin in question, President Donald Trump declared Wednesday he had told the Russian leader face to face to stay out of America’s elections “and that’s the way it’s going to be.” A few hours earlier, Trump had answered “no” when asked if the longtime U.S. foe was still targeting American elections. That reply put the president sharply at odds with recent public warnings from his own intelligence chief, but
WASHINGTON — The White House and the State Department are at odds over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to allow the U.S. access to Russians accused of election meddling in return for interviews of Americans accused by the Kremlin of unspecified crimes. Even as the White House said the offer, made by Putin to President Donald Trump at their summit in Helsinki on Monday, was under consideration, the State Department called Russia’s allegations against the
ASPEN, Colo. — FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that Russia continues to use fake news, propaganda and covert operations to “spin up” Americans on both sides of hot-button issues to sow discord in the United States. Wray stood behind the intelligence agencies’ assessment that Moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election, dismissing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that his country was not involved. “He’s got his view. I can
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker downplayed his interaction with a woman accused of being a Russian operative, saying Wednesday that they only met one time in 2015 when she showed up at a National Rifle Association convention and had her picture taken with him. Maria Butina was charged Monday with being a covert Russian agent who gathered intelligence on American officials and political organizations and worked to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin.
HELSINKI — Plenty of U.S. presidents have created commotion in their travels abroad, but none as much as President Donald Trump. The president’s tumultuous trip across Europe, historians say, smashed the conventions of American leaders on the world stage. Trump’s “America first” approach to foreign policy had him seeming to accept the word of a hostile power over his own intelligence agencies, insulting allies and sowing doubts about his commitment to the NATO
WASHINGTON — Blistered by bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, President Donald Trump strained Tuesday to “clarify” his public undermining of American intelligence agencies, saying he simply misspoke when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern push-back from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the U.S. president sought to
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump gave the go-ahead to announce new Russian election-hacking indictments before his meeting with Vladimir Putin rather than after — in the hopes it would strengthen his hand in the talks, according to accounts from people familiar with the decision. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein went to Trump last week and offered him the choice: before or after the Putin summit on Monday in Helsinki? Trump chose before, ultimately putting the issue into
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — The sponsors of the Russian “troll factory” that meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign have launched a new American website ahead of the U.S. midterm election in November. A Russian oligarch has links to Maryland’s election services. Russian bots and trolls are deploying increasingly sophisticated, targeted tools. And a new indictment suggests the Kremlin itself was behind previous hacking efforts in support of Donald Trump. As the U.S.