Pompeo to senators: We’re standing up to Russian Federation

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In recent days, Senate Republicans have made public remarks opposing a future meeting between Trump and Putin, which had been previewed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last week.

It's also the prerogative of the American people to want to know more about the exchange with the man who USA intelligence officials say oversaw Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

But Russia also did not immediately jump at the opportunity to schedule a second summit between the two leaders.

Russian Federation scoffed at a U.S. declaration saying that Washington would not accept Moscow's annexation of Crimea, suggesting Washington's Ukraine policy could change in the future.

"There are other options (to meet) which our leaders can look at", aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters, citing a meeting of G20 leaders in Argentina which starts at the end of November.

Two reporters each from the USA and Russian press corps asked questions of Trump and Putin following their July 16 summit in Helsinki.

"While your statements have been clear, our president's statements have confused our allies, encouraged our adversaries and have failed to be comparably clear and I'm concerned that an invitation to President Putin to the White House without clarity about his threats to our election, his threats to our allies, puts at risk clarity", Coons said.

He also believes Trump is still listening to Mattis. "But I would consider putting that one on the back burner for a while".

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered to sway the vote toward Trump, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign worked with the Russians.

As scrutiny increases of Russia's reported attempts to interfere in November's midterms, Trump will convene a National Security Council meeting Friday devoted to the issue of election security.

"I fear that he's isolated because when you have [John] Bolton and Pompeo and that triumvirate there is in the White House, I really worry that they're overwhelming Mattis".

The spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry brushed off the Crimea Declaration as just another US policy that could easily change in the future. "These are two nuclear superpowers".

Pompeo said he had personally told top Russian officials that there will be "severe consequences" for any interference in USA elections or the American democratic process.

"What the Russians did there is deeply immoral", he said.

The US policy with respects to sanctions remains completely unchanged, he said during a heated exchange of words with the Democratic Senator, Robert Menendez, who is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In the meantime, Pompeo issued a statement titled the "Crimea Declaration" in which he said the USA will continue to insist that Ukraine's territorial integrity be restored.

"I don't think that's unfair to know", Senator Robert Menendez, the panel's top Democrat, told Pompeo.

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As far is publicly known, that was not a concession to arise out of either the Singapore summit or the subsequent round of U.S. We are "working to bring back the remains of your brothers-in-arms who gave their lives to Korea", Trump said on Tuesday.

The White House said on Wednesday that President Trump wants to delay a planned follow-up meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russian Federation until after the investigation of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is concluded - which the White House predicted would be next year.

In the declaration, Pompeo took Russian Federation to task for it actions in Ukraine, particularly the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Yet the skepticism among many in Congress was on full display, with Pompeo facing tough questions from lawmakers demanding to know what Trump and Putin discussed in their two-hour Helsinki summit and, more broadly, whether the administration has an overarching foreign policy plan at all. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said at the hearing.

Otherwise, the administration will continue opposing tough actions against Russian Federation in response to its malign activities, the top American diplomat said.

"The administration tells us, "Don't worry, be patient, there's a strategy here, '" Corker said". "They're never going to be our friend".

"It's the president that causes people to have concerns", Corker said.

Pompeo said from the outset the USA administration's approach has been to steadily raise the cost of aggression until Putin chooses a less confrontational foreign policy while keeping the door open for dialogue in national interest.

The committee chairman, Sen. D'Antonio asked while openly laughing at the president.

POMPEO: I've had a number of conversations with President Trump about what transpired in the meeting.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H, asked whether Trump talked to Putin about removing USA troops from Syria.

Later, he and Pompeo had an intense exchange when Corker suggested that Trump intentionally creates distrust in institutions like North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "A reporter's question edited out of the videotape", she said.

In his testimony before the committee, Pompeo said there will be no relief of Crimea-related sanctions imposed on Russian Federation until Moscow returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.

"No, you didn't", Corker shot back, which prompted Pompeo to say they just disagree. "We know weakness provokes our enemies, but strength and cohesion protect us".

Pompeo essentially endorsed additional sanctions during Wednesday's hearing. He pledged that negotiations would not "drag out to no end".

Pompeo cited ongoing talks between the US and North Korea when asked for "verifiable evidence" that Pyongyang had begun to take steps to denuclearize. Pompeo responded that North Korea's leadership "indicated that they fully understand the scope of what denuclearization entails".

But even Republican ranks remained unconvinced by Pompeo's reassurances. The report was based on an analysis of satellite imagery by the website 38 North.