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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take questions from the press on Wednesday in the first briefing since President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki two days earlier.
The briefing comes just hours after Trump told reporters that Russia was no longer targeting the United States.
Trump came under fire earlier in the week from a broad array of Republican and Democratic lawmakers after publicly questioning the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Putin was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial” that Russia meddled in the election, Trump said Monday.
“He [Putin] just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,” he said. The next day, the president offered a clarification: He didn’t see any reason why it would not be Putin, he said.
Sanders may also take questions on comments the president made on Tuesday regarding U.S. security guarantees to Montenegro, a NATO member. Asked by Fox News reporter Tucker Carlson whether the president would protect the country if it came under attack, the president demurred.
“I’ve asked the same question. Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people … They’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations you’re in World War III,” he said.
In March 2017, the Senate approved Montenegro’s entrance into NATO in a 97-2 vote, and the president signed off. Russia has historically opposed the expansion of the Western alliance.
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