The Latest: Trump tweets that ‘Fake News Media’ wants war

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The Latest: Trump tweets that ‘Fake News Media’ wants war
The Latest: Trump tweets that ‘Fake News Media’ wants war

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump and Russia (all times local):

7:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is claiming that the “Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war.”

Trump says Thursday on Twitter: “They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump adds that “We are doing MUCH better than any other country!”

The tweet is the latest by the president to push back against criticism following the lengthy one-on-one meeting Trump held with Putin in Finland on Monday and accounts of his shifting statements on whether he believes Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, as U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded.

Trump has said the meeting with Putin will result in improved U.S.-Russia relations.

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12:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is taking a tougher tone on Russia. He says in an interview with CBS that he told Vladimir Putin to stay out of America’s elections.

That’s a change from Trump’s initial upbeat description of his meeting with Russia’s president. The shifting stance came Wednesday as Trump spent more time managing the fallout from his widely criticized summit with Putin in Helsinki.

Trump backtracked on whether Russia is currently targeting U.S. elections. When asked the question Wednesday, he answered “no,” a reply that put him sharply at odds with recent public warnings from his own intelligence chief.

Hours later, the White House stepped in to say Trump’s answer wasn’t what it appeared.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of the press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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