Trump Again Sides With Russia Over US Intelligence—Just as His Summit With Putin Is Confirmed

Klimentyev Mikhail/ZUMA

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On Thursday, the White House announced that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, next month for their first bilateral summit. “The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a brief statement.

It’s unlikely, however, that the subject of Russian meddling in US elections will be included in the summit’s agenda.

Moments before the July 16 meeting was confirmed, Trump on Thursday continued to cast doubt over US intelligence agencies’ definitive assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help defeat his opponent, Hillary Clinton. In addition to accepting Russia’s denial, Trump repeated his long-standing attacks against Clinton and James Comey (nearly 600 days since the US election took place) and the ongoing investigations into Russian interference.

The announcement of the meeting comes just weeks after Trump stunned US allies by calling on Russia to be readmitted to the G-7. On the same day, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats confirmed that Russia continues to pose a serious threat to the fast-approaching midterm elections.

The July 16 meeting will take place after the July 11 NATO summit in Brussels. 

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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