Mike Pompeo defends Trump's Russian Federation record after Putin summit

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday took a tough line on Russian Federation and its annexation of Crimea as lawmakers demanded specifics from him on President Trump's Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin.

In the same press conference, Trump took pains not to confront Putin head-on about conclusions from the U.S. Intelligence Community that Russian Federation interfered with the election itself.

Still, 72 percent of Americans said they were more likely to believe US intelligence agencies over Putin's claims that Russia didn't interfere in the election, the poll found, while 15 percent said they believed the Russian president.

Trump's performance was widely ripped by lawmakers of all stripes, who slammed his remarks as "treasonous" and "disgraceful."

The remarks and Trump's overall performance - both at the Helsinki meeting with Putin and during the two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels the previous week - stunned diplomatic, security and intelligence experts in the USA and around the world.

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Dealing with that risk is very hard . "We are losing on the straights but I don't want to sound sore about it". Driving from the back is always more fun than driving from the front but you never know how far you can go.

The US government says it will not accept Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

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In a statement released by the state department, the U.S. secretary of state said the USA will hold on to its long-standing principle of refusing to recognise Kremlin claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force, in violation of worldwide law. "Is there some strategy behind creating doubt in USA senators' minds?" asked committee Chairman Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo said that he will support the bill to hold Russian Federation accountable for its behaviors around the globe.

Scott Schober, a cybersecurity expert, said in an interview that the technology would be unlikely to be used for espionage and that any gift a US President receives would be thoroughly vetted to ensure it is safe.

The top U.S. diplomat clashed with both Republicans and Democrats on several occasions - refusing to provide substantive details about Trump's one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki and the state of talks with North Korea following the President's sitdown with Kim in Singapore last month.

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Her aunt, Kim Calderwood , said she's "very responsible and conscientious". "There is no such thing as a silly tip or lead". Her family and friends continue to search for clues and answers, and plead for anyone with any information to come forward.

National security adviser John Bolton said Mr Trump now believed his next meeting with Mr Putin should take place "after the Russian Federation witch-hunt is over", a reference to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the committee, during a line of questioning about Trump's private meeting with Putin, which raised deep concerns among lawmakers and national security experts.

Almost half of respondents - 47 percent - said Trump is guiding the nation's foreign policy toward negative consequences.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said later that Trump had instructed National Security Adviser John Bolton to send an invitation to the Russian leader to visit Washington in the fall. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who set a contentious tone for the hearing by telling Pompeo that senators "are filled with serious doubts about this White House and its conduct of American foreign policy", later said those doubts are due to Trump's frequent contradictory statements on the Russian Federation probe and assaults on allies. "In one respect, I applaud this declaration about Crimea".

But Pompeo would not disclose what commitments on denuclearization Kim made to Trump during their summit in Singapore.

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The other signatories to the deal, including France, the United Kingdom and Germany, have vowed to stand by it. Zarif's online comments are the latest in the escalating war of words between Washington and Tehran.

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