Trump advisers at war with the president over his outreach to Vladimir Putin in the face of Russia’s election meddling

Thursday, July 20, 2017
By Paul Martin

Trump’s persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers
Uneasy dynamic has been exacerbated by the revelation this week of an extended dinner conversation between Trump and Putin at the G20 summit
Foreign officials described a disconnect, or ‘mixed signals,’ between Trump and his team over Russia, highlighting a lack of a clear policy
Some top aides, including National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster, have been warning that Putin is not to be trusted

DAILYMAIL.COM
20 July 2017

President Donald Trump’s persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers, who have long urged a more cautious approach to dealing with the foreign adversary.

The uneasy dynamic between the president and top aides has been exacerbated by the revelation this week of an extended dinner conversation between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the recent summit in Germany.

The previously undisclosed conversation, which occurred a few hours after their official meeting, raised red flags with advisers already concerned by the president’s tendency to shun protocol and press ahead with outreach toward Russia, according to two U.S. officials and three top foreign officials.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Deep divisions are increasingly apparent within the administration on the best way to approach Moscow in the midst of U.S. investigations into Russian meddling in the American presidential election.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russian government sought to tip the election in his favor and has dismissed investigations into the possibility of collusion between his campaign and Moscow as a ‘witch hunt.’

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