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Trump administration officials defended the approach with Russia, insisting that their policies and actions have been tougher than those pursued by Obama but without unnecessarily combative language or posture. that the idea that he's been put into office by Vladimir Putin is pretty insulting," said a second senior administration official.
"Our approach is that we don't irritate Russia, we deter Russia," a senior administration official said. But his views are "not a constraint" on the government's ability to respond to future election threats, the official said.
Intelligence officials who brief the president play down information about Russia they fear might displease him, current and former officials said.
Trump has never convened a Cabinet-level meeting on Russian interference or what to do about it, administration officials said.
The annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has not been recognized. The United States' closest alliances are frayed, and the Oval Office is occupied by a disruptive politician who frequently praises his counterpart in Russia."Putin has to believe this was the most successful intelligence operation in the history of Russian or Soviet intelligence," said Andrew Weiss, a former adviser on Russia in the George H. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations who is now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Sanctions imposed for Russian intervention in Ukraine remain in place. official briefed on the stream of post-election intelligence, is that the operation was "more than worth the effort."The Russian operation seemed intended to aggravate political polarization and racial tensions and to diminish U. "It has driven the American political system into a crisis that will last years."U. officials declined to discuss whether the stream of recent intelligence on Russia has been shared with Trump.
Trump took a seat at one end of a large table, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence at the other.
Among the others present were Priebus, Pompeo and designated national security adviser Michael Flynn.
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In other cases, Trump's main briefer - a veteran CIA analyst - adjusts the order of his presentation and text, aiming to soften the impact."If you talk about Russia, meddling, interference - that takes the PDB off the rails," said a second former senior U. The CIA continues to stand by its conclusions about the election, for example, even as the agency's director, Mike Pompeo, frequently makes comments that seem to diminish or distort those findings. Comey traveled separately on an FBI Gulfstream aircraft, planning to extend his stay for meetings with bureau officials. The four men had convened a virtual meeting the previous evening, speaking by secure videoconference to plan their presentation to the incoming president of a classified report on Russia's election interference and its pro-Trump objective.