Trump says Putin denials are believable » After meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, President Trump declared that strained relations between the two countries are a thing of the past.
Following the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki, Finland, Trump said both countries share responsibility for the rocky relationship, adding that the Justice Department’s Russia probe is largely to blame.
TRUMP: It’s kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it.
U.S. intelligence agencies remain convinced that Russia did in fact try to interfere with the 2016 election. And on Friday, the Department of Justice indicted 12 Russian spies.
Vladimir Putin once again denied on Monday that his country did anything to try to influence the election. And President Trump said that while he has confidence in U.S. intelligence personnel, he found Putin’s denial very believable.
TRUMP: I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today, and what he did was an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer.
That drew sharp criticism back home. Maryland Democrat, Senator Chris Van Hollen:
VAN HOLLEN: He threw our intelligence community totally under the bus and said I have no reason to doubt Vladimir Putin. I mean, this is a crazy upside down world, which is why you have such strong responses, not just from Democrats, but from Republicans.
Indeed, many high profile Republicans were clear that they disagree with President Trump. Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted Monday that while it did not decide the outcome, Putin did influence the 2016 election, adding that “Foreign policy must be based on reality, not hyperbole or wishful thinking. And the reality is Russia is an adversary.”
Woman who sought meeting for Trump and Putin is charged » Just hours after President Trump’s remarks, the Justice Department announced charges against a Russian citizen residing in the U.S.
Authorities arrested Maria Butina, a 29-year-old grad student, on Sunday. Prosecutors say she worked with the Kremlin to infiltrate American political organizations. She’s charged with conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.
Court papers say Butina worked to forge relationships with American politicians and to establish “back channel” lines of communication with Russia. She’s being held without bond. Her next hearing is set for tomorrow.
China files complaint with WTO over tariffs » China is taking its complaint about President Trump’s latest proposed trade tariffs to the World Trade Organization. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed it has filed a complaint with the WTO over a U.S. threat to a slap a new 10 percent tax on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Those tariffs would not take effect until at least September.
China recently hit U.S. goods with trade tariffs in retaliation for the previous round of tariffs by the United States. And the latest tariffs proposed by the U.S. are the Trump administration’s answer to China’s retaliation in the back-and-forth trade spat.
But China’s lopsided trade balance means it cannot keep retaliating dollar-for-dollar. It will run out of U.S. imports for penalty long before Washington does. With that in mind, Beijing is trying to recruit support—so far in vain— from Europe, South Korea, and other governments.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Court ruling on family deportations » A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to hold off on deporting families who cross the border illegally.
Last month U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to reunite illegal immigrant parents and children. And on Monday, she issued an order halting deportations of reunited families for at least a week.
The delay is intended to ensure officials don’t send any immigrants out of the country improperly. The American Civil Liberties Union asked for the order, saying attorneys were concerned about rumors of “mass deportations” once the government finished reuniting children with their parents in the coming days.
Wildfire near Yosemite » Fire crews in California are racing to contain the Ferguson fire in Mariposa County, as it continues to grow and now threatens Yosemite National Park. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The blaze burning just to the west of Yosemite has already closed one main route into the park… after doubling in size overnight. The fire covered 4,000 acres on Sunday. By Monday, it had devoured more than 9,000 acres.
The park remains open to visitors for now.
The fire has also claimed one life. A Firefighter died Saturday while plowing a fire line when his bulldozer tumbled down a canyon.
Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power for the area, hoping to reduce fire risk. Some say sparks from the company’s power lines were responsible for at least three wildfires last fall.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.
I’m Kent Covington. Up next, a new study shows increasing rates of economic success for black men in America. Plus, commentary from Marvin Olasky. This is The World and Everything in It.