President Donald Trump came under fire and intense scrutiny from Democrats as well as his own party following his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, where Trump refused to condemn Putin and his government for meddling in the United States election during a joint press conference. Instead, Trump said the United States acted foolishly and he dismissed reports by his own intelligence agencies.
Upon Trump’s return to the United States, however, he admitted he misspoke in Helsinki.
“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia’ instead of ‘why it would,’” Trump said on Tuesday, clarifying his comments.
He also clarified his view of his intelligence agencies’ conclusion on Russia and election meddling.
“I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said, adding, “It could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all.”
Of course, actions speak louder than words. And while a mere surface-level observation of Trump’s words about Russia don’t reveal much, his actions against Russia has been tougher than any president’s since the Cold War.
Just remember it was Obama — not Trump — who was caught on camera telling a Russian official he would have “more flexibility” toward Russia after the 2012 election.
Trump has issued a tremendous number of Babushka-style sanctions against the Russians — one on top of the other.
The most recent pile of sanctions came in April, when the administration sanctioned seven rich Russian oligarchs and 17 government officials, precisely for election meddling.
Trump also prohibited Putin’s inner circle from ever traveling to the Untied States or doing business with the West and prohibiting the West to do business with Russia.
And going back to Trump’s first days in the Oval Office, he immediately punished Russia with sanctions for their annexation of Crimea in 2014. Over three dozen individuals and organizations were hurt by these sanctions.
Regarding those sanctions, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stated there would be no release of grip until Russia meets the obligations outlined in the 2015 Minsk agreement.
Most significantly, Trump signed a sanctions bill passed by Congress that included a provision that would prevent Trump from undoing the sanctions by executive order. He signed it in August 2017 regardless.
Trump also ordered several Russian properties in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and New York City to be closed and shut down the Russian consulate in Seattle.
The liberal media did not give him credit for these actions, but clearly, when actions speak louder than words, Trump has been tougher on Russia in his 18 months in office than Barack Obama was in his eight years in office.