Donald Trump says he is looking forward to second Putin meeting

US President Donald Trump walks from Marine One as he arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, July 18, 2018. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Donald Trump says he is looking forward to second Putin meeting

  • Trump has struggled to quiet a political uproar over his failure at Monday’s summit in Helsinki to confront Putin
  • Trump drew a barrage of criticism in the United States, including from lawmakers in both parties

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed forces within the United States on Thursday for marring what they called the success of their first summit, with Trump saying he looked forward to their second meeting.
Trump, who has struggled to quiet a political uproar over his failure at Monday’s summit in Helsinki to confront Putin over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election, renewed his fierce criticism of one of his favorite targets, the news media.
The Republican president accused the media of distorting comments in which he gave credence to Putin’s denials of election interference despite the conclusions of the American intelligence community about Moscow’s conduct.
“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyberattacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more,” Trump said.
Trump drew a barrage of criticism in the United States, including from lawmakers in both parties, after he refused to blame Putin for the election meddling. Putin has denied such interference.
The Republican president later said he had misspoken and accused “some people” of hating the fact that he got along with Putin.
In Moscow, Putin accused forces in the United States of trying to undermine the success of his meeting with Trump, but said the two leaders had begun to improve US-Russia ties anyway.
Putin, speaking to Russian diplomats from around the world, said the Helsinki summit had been successful.
“It was successful overall and led to some useful agreements. Of course, let’s see how events will develop further,” he said, without disclosing the nature of the agreements he referred to.


Cuba denies Trump claim of troops in Venezuela

Updated 42 min 51 sec ago
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Cuba denies Trump claim of troops in Venezuela

  • US President Donald Trump says Cuba has troops in Venezuela defending socialist leader Nicolas Maduro
  • Trump has refused to rule out military intervention in Venezuela, despite repeated denials from his administration

HAVANA: Cuba rejected Tuesday the “despicable” accusation by US President Donald Trump that it has troops in Venezuela defending socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.
On Monday, Trump claimed that Maduro was being “protected by a private army of Cuban soldiers.”
“Let him show the evidence. Our government rejects this slander in the strongest and most categorical terms,” said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
He also claimed the US was “preparing a military intervention under a humanitarian pretext,” in a bid to oust Maduro.
The US has sent tons of aid to Colombia’s border with Venezuela in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is challenging Maduro’s authority.
Venezuela is wracked by a humanitarian crisis marked by shortages of desperately needed food and medicines. But the military has barricaded the border crossing to prevent the aid from entering.
Guaido, the self-proclaimed acting president recognized by some 50 countries, says 300,000 Venezuelans could die without the aid.
Maduro, though, claims the aid is a smokescreen for an invasion.
Trump has refused to rule out military intervention in Venezuela, despite repeated denials from his administration.
Rodriguez said the US-backed “imperialist coup” has failed but Guaido insists the aid will be brought in on Saturday, and has pressed the military to side with him and let the shipments enter the country.
“They’ve fixed a deadline to bring in humanitarian aid by force, which is in itself a contradiction,” added Rodriguez.
“What are their aims, what could they be if not to generate an incident that puts civilian lives at risk, that would provoke violence or unpredictable circumstances?”