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President Trump: 'We Have A Tremendous Relationship With ...

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Donald Trump is pictured. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump has faced heavy criticism this week in the wake of his Monday meeting with Putin in Helsinki. | Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Trump: Media wants a war with Russia

By LOUIS NELSON

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President Donald Trump claimed Thursday morning that the media “wants so badly” for the U.S. to be in a “major confrontation with Russia,” evidenced, he suggested, by what he characterized as excessively negative coverage of his summit this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war,” the president wrote on Twitter. “They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin. We are doing MUCH better than any other country!”

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Trump has faced heavy criticism in the wake of his Monday meeting with Putin in Helsinki, where he seemed once again willing to take the Russian president’s word that the Kremlin was not behind a 2016 campaign of cyberattacks intended to influence that year’s U.S. presidential election. That Trump would believe Putin over his own intelligence agencies, which have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia was behind the meddling efforts, sparked outrage from both Democrats and Republicans.

By Tuesday, Trump was forced to take the rare step — for him — of admitting a mistake, telling reporters that when he said “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia behind the cyberattacks, he had meant to say “wouldn’t.”

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Then, on Wednesday, Trump told reporters that Russia was no longer engaged in election interference efforts in the U.S., a claim that runs counter to what Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has said publicly. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later claimed Trump had not answered “no” to the question about Russia but was instead intending to signal to reporters that he would not take questions.

Thursday morning, Trump applauded Fox News coverage that replayed several previous instances of him publicly stating he believed Russia was indeed behind the election interference efforts. He wrote online that “the Fake News wants no part of that narrative” and that the media ignore the strength of the U.S. economy under his administration.

“The Fake News Media is going Crazy! They make up stories without any backup, sources or proof. Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Problem is, when you complain you just give them more publicity. But I’ll complain anyway!”

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