Democrats want Trump interpreter summoned to testify about his secretive Putin summit

The White House was once again sent into clean-up mode Wednesday when Trump said "no" when a reporter asked him if Russian Federation was still targeting the United States.

Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump said "no" after a reporter asked him whether the USA was still a target of Russian-led cyberattacks and election meddling. "He (Putin) feels strongly about and I feel strongly about it, so that's good".

The White House is highly likely to swat away the request and invoke executive privilege, arguing that no president is required to reveal private conversations and that an aide, such as a translator, should not be compelled to do so either.

Representative Andy Harris, a member of the Caucus, said: "I disregard and discount anything that involves the mainstream media press".

Her comments stood in sharp contrast to those of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who held open the possibility that what Trump called "an incredible offer" is being weighed.

"Well, I accept. I mean, he's an expert", Trump said of Coats.

"And very importantly, probably most importantly, our Republican colleagues need to join us in demanding testimony from the President's national security team that was in Helsinki - and we need to do that immediately", the New York Democrat said from the Senate floor Tuesday.

At Wednesday's meeting, Mr. Trump also previewed a "big" announcement on the administration's workforce training initiatives, an agenda item his eldest daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump has been working closely on.

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Asked what he said to Putin, Mr. Trump responded, "Very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling, we can't have any of that ..."

Mr Trump has been under bipartisan fire in Washington for failing to publicly confront Mr Putin over election meddling at the news conference that followed their Helsinki talks earlier this week.

Trump said he accepted the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation had meddled in the election, and offered a rambling explanation of his assertion that he could not see "any reason" why Russian Federation would interfere.

CNN's Brian Stelter reacted with exultant joy when reporters banded together against White House press secretary Sarah Sanders at the daily briefing Wednesday.

In rebutting Trump's dismissive comments about USA intelligence on Monday, Coats said in a statement, "We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

At a daily briefing, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she had yet to find any precedent for compelling a presidential interpreter to testify, and that "no formal request ... at this point" has been made for Gross to do so. "Maybe there are reasons within the United Kingdom but nobody wants to look at the issue now, they just see the ungrounded accusations", he said.

That's when the president said he'd be willing to give Putin benefit of the doubt over all his intelligence agencies - which all agree that Russian Federation launched cyber attacks on the Democrats in 2016 in hopes of swinging the election. Tuesday, the day after, Trump said he meant to say the word "wouldn't". "The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation'".

Coats, his director of National Intelligence, had said Russian meddling is ongoing.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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