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Conservative Lawmakers Say Trump’s Actions, Not Words, Key in Dealings With Putin

Conservative lawmakers say President Donald Trump’s strong actions, rather than his ill-chosen words, should speak to his foreign policy strategy for Russia.

“All of the comments this president has made, the press harps on that one comment, and like my other colleagues have said, it’s what he’s done,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said Tuesday of Trump’s press conference the day before with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Norman and other House Republicans spoke during Conversations With Conservatives, a monthly meeting with reporters hosted by conservative lawmakers and The Heritage Foundation.

“But I’m glad we had the [Trump-Putin] summit … I wish they would focus on the positive aspects of his actions,” Norman said of the president’s critics.

In the press conference with Putin, a reporter asked Trump whether he believes U.S. intelligence officials or the Russian president on whether Russia interfered with the 2016 election.

In his answer, Trump said National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and other U.S. intelligence officials informed him that Russia meddled in the election, but the president also appeared to give credence to Putin’s denial.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said.

Trump also laid some blame on America.

“I hold both countries responsible,” Trump said. “I think that the United States has been foolish. I think that we’ve all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time, frankly, before I got to office.”

Trump’s comments elicited ire from lawmakers and many others, including John Brennan, CIA director under President Barack Obama, who labeled the president’s “press conference performance” as “treasonous.”

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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