Trump Tears Up His Script (DETAILS)

November 12, 2017 4:54 pm

President Donald Trump tore up his diplomatic script this weekend in favor of an angrier, more familiar role after his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an economic summit were limited to hallway conversations lasting little more than five minutes.

The combative commander in chief re-emerged Saturday and Sunday irked that his promised thaw with Russia has been slowed by parallel investigations into Moscow’s 2016 election meddling.

Yet his continued vacillations on whether Russia interfered in last year’s election have only clouded the matter further, thwarting the type of substantive cooperation he’s seeking.

Traveling through Asia this week, Trump’s top aides insisted the meddling must be addressed if the two leaders met. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Beijing that the long list of topics up for discussion with Putin included the cyber-intrusion.

Trump Tears Up His Script (DETAILS)

Trump, however, appeared ready to move on. He told reporters as he jetted here from the seaside Vietnamese resort in Da Nang that he accepted the Russian President’s denials as sincere and stressed how insulted Putin feels when the issue is raised.

It’s a conundrum Trump faces as investigators in Washington inch closer to his inner circle in their Russia probe. Deeply sensitive at the implication the Russian intrusion makes him appear illegitimate, Trump has been unable so far to say definitively whether Putin and his government was behind it.

The unanswered question has left the matter unresolved — and largely forestalled the type of substantive deliberations that Trump himself maintains are essential.

“I want to be able — because I think it’s very important — to get along with Russia, to get along with China, to get along with Vietnam, to get along with lots of countries, because we have a lot of things we have to solve,” Trump said during a news conference here on Sunday. “I feel that having Russia in a friendly posture, as opposed to always fighting with them, is an asset to the world and an asset to our country, not a liability.”


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