Putin Soccer Ball Gift To Trump May Have Had Microchip

Friday, 27 Jul, 2018

The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's proposed Washington meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin had been delayed until 2019, citing the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is taking a tough line on Russia and its actions in Ukraine as skeptical lawmakers are set to demand specifics from him on President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., are pushing legislation that would impose new sanctions against Russian Federation for interfering in the 2016 USA presidential election and to discourage them from doing it again.

Bolton suggested the decision not to meet sooner was due to special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that Trump would postpone a second meeting with Putin until next year after the federal probe into the alleged meddling is over.

Former CIA director John Brennan criticised Trump's relationship with Putin as "nothing short of treasonous" whilst senior Republican Newt Gingrich described it as "the most serious mistake of his presidency".

"This is one possible explanation for why the White House transcript and video from Helsinki doesn't include Putin saying he wanted Trump to win", she tweeted.

Pompeo added that the United States "calls on Russian Federation to respect the principles to which it has long claimed to adhere and to end its occupation of Crimea".

She said that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran and the Paris agreement for slowing climate change "were also official USA policy not long ago" because Trump's predecessor Barack Obama "personally decided so".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly defended the administration's policies on Russian Federation and North Korea on Wednesday, assuring skeptical senators that President Donald Trump has taken "a staggering number" of steps to protect USA interests overseas.

"This was by no means malicious", a White House official said of the omission, explaining that the audio mixer at the site did not bring up the audio levels of the reporter's microphone up in time to catch the beginning of the question because the translator was still speaking.

Pompeo also called attention to the military aid the United States is providing to Ukraine and Georgia that, as he said, was not forthcoming under President Barack Obama.

The statement came as the US announced that it has no intention of recognizing Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and will not drop its economic sanctions against Moscow until Crimea is returned to Kyiv's control. The one-on-one meeting between Putin and Trump lasted for more than two hours.

Attempts to get details haven't been fruitful for the news media, Congress and even some members of the president's Cabinet. And Pompeo said that decision could be linked to the desire to have productive conversations with Putin in the future.

"Fear not, senator", Pompeo responded.