Kate Riga

Kate Riga is a news writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Kate was the political reporter for The Southampton Press. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and a native of Philadelphia.

Articles by Kate

During the press conference after their one-on-one meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked if he had any “compromising material” on President Donald Trump, alluding to the infamous pee tape—and Putin did not outrightly deny it.

After a pause and some nervous laughter in the room, Putin begged off the question, saying that he didn’t know Trump or that he was in Moscow then.

“Yeah, I did hear these rumors that this allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow,” Putin said through a translator.

“Distinguished colleague, let me tell you this, when President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn’t even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow,” he continued.

“Please disregard these issues and don’t think about this anymore again,” he finished.

Trump then piped up, saying that the tape would have been released by now if anyone had it.

The tapes were mentioned in the Steele dossier, alleging that Trump performed sex acts including urine with prostitutes in Moscow in 2013. Some have hypothesized that if Putin has recordings of the event, he may be using them to blackmail Trump.

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Standing at a podium next to Russian President Vladimir Putin after their one-on-one meeting, President Donald Trump took the opportunity to repeatedly brag about his 2016 victory and the “clean” campaign he ran.

“That was a clean campaign,” Trump said in response to a question about holding Russia responsible for the 12 officials who tampered with the election. “I beat Hillary Clinton easily and, frankly, we beat her and I’m not even saying from the standpoint, we won that race.”

Trump brought up his favorite topic again when he jumped in to answer a follow-up question for Putin about extraditing the 12 indicted Russians.

“As you know, the concept of that came up perhaps a little before, but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election, which frankly, they should have been able to win, because the electoral college is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans,” Trump said. “We won the electoral college by a lot. 306 to 223 I believe. That was a well fought battle. We did a great job.”

He later added: “We ran a brilliant campaign. That’s why I’m President.”

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In a joint press conference after a one-on-one meeting, Russian Vladimir Putin, standing next to President Donald Trump, addressed the “so-called” Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election on Monday, saying that Russia had never and would never tamper with American internal affairs.

Putin went on to offer his assistance in analyzing any “specific material” pertaining to Russian meddling that may come to light.

“Any specific material, if such things arise, we are ready to analyze together,” he said. “For instance, we can analyze them through the joint working group on cyber security, the establishment of which we discussed during our previous contacts.”

Trump addressed the election tampering in his opening comments as well, saying that “President Putin may very well want to address it and very strongly, because he feels strongly about it. He has an interesting idea.” He did not elaborate on the idea.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) displayed remarkable indifference to the news that Russians definitely tampered with the 2016 American presidential election, saying on CNN Sunday that “we all do it.”

“I think really we mistake our response if we think it’s about accountability from the Russians,” Paul told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “They are another country, they are going to spy on us, do spy on us. They are going to interfere in our elections, we also do the same…We all do it.”

He cited that the United States has allegedly tampered in other nations’ elections 81 times, saying “all countries that want to interfere in elections and have the ability to, they try.”

He added that the U.S. needs to step up protections of the election process, and blamed both Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama for exacerbating tensions with Russia that led to the 2016 hack.

Paul ended his interview by saying that NATO’s protection of sovereign countries and Russia invading them is a “chicken and egg” situation, voicing the Russian perspective that an expanding NATO is a threat.

Last week, Paul was one of two senators to vote against a motion affirming the importance of a strong and united NATO.

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Prince Charles and Prince William, the first two in the line of succession to the throne, refused to meet with President Donald Trump during his UK visit, according to a Sunday London Times report.

Though officials from Downing Street and Buckingham Palace denied the reports, saying that Trump and the Queen were always meant to meet alone, sources and senior courtiers told the Times differently.

“This business of Prince Charles and Prince William not being there for the Trump visit was a snub,” an unnamed source told the Times. “They simply refused to attend. It’s a very, very unusual thing for the Queen to be there on her own.”

In addition, a Whitehall official told the Times that the Queen’s interaction with Trump was “kept to the bare minimum. The Queen will do her duty, but among the wider family, they were not as enthusiastic as they were when Obama came over.”

Trump’s UK visit does look very different from that of President Barack Obama.

Per the Times, the Obamas’ 2016 trip involved a Windsor Castle lunch with the Queen and Prince Philip, as well as a Kensington Palace dinner with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Earlier this year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a meeting with the Queen as well as a visit to a science exhibition with Prince Charles.

This would not be the first time that the Royals snubbed Trump, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle refused to invite him to their wedding in May.

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President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign has spent $1.2 million on legal fees so far this year, according to a Sunday Buzzfeed News report.

The numbers come from the most recent FEC filings and include payment to firms Harder LLP and Larocca, Hornik, Rosen, Greenberg & Blaha, both of which are reportedly involved in Trump’s legal battle with Stormy Daniels.

The campaign has also doled out money to Trump-owned enterprises, including $5,500 to the Trump Corporation and $275,000 to Trump properties like the Trump International Hotel in DC and Trump Doral Golf Resort in Florida.

Per Buzzfeed, the campaign raised $8.4 million and spent $3.6 million between April and July. The campaign reportedly has $33.1 million in its warchest. This figure grows significantly when including the two Trump-aligned committees.

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As Defense Secretary Jim Mattis travels throughout Europe, often in close proximity to President Donald Trump, he has stayed mum on the trail of verbal carnage his bombastic boss has left behind him.

According to a Sunday Washington Post report, even when he traveled with Trump to the NATO summit in Brussels, Mattis took great pains to avoid to limelight, declining to join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton on stage during a press conference.

Mattis reportedly made an anodyne comment about a “good discussion” with the Croatian President and parroted some of Pence’s comments about the importance of American allies.

As Mattis believes in a unified Europe and strong action against Russian aggression, remaining invisible seems his best bet to avoid antagonizing his dissension-despising boss.

Per the Post, in Croatia Mattis spoke about “our shared democratic values” and the importance of “the rules-based international order,” the latter a phrase that Trump dislikes so much that it contributed to his refusal to sign the group statement after the G7 Summit in early June.

Mattis also dismissed characterizations of the NATO summit as contentious, calling it a a “very hearty discussion.”

His most obvious break with the President on his trip came Friday when he reportedly said that Russia has “chosen to come in, and to undermine the democratic fabric of nations that are young in their democratic processes. And whether through false news reporting, or economic strictures they are not seen as helpful, would be the most polite way to describe it.”

As Trump has reportedly cooled on his defense secretary, Mattis’ silence may be as much about self preservation as difference in philosophy.

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Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) shot down the possibility that Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be impeached, saying on CBS Sunday that the movement lacks sufficient support, and that President Donald Trump could always “fire him in a tweet,” according to a Sunday Hill report.

“Impeach him for what?” Gowdy said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “No.”

“I’m not convinced there is a movement,” he added, referring to a Politico report detailing Republican lawmakers’ move to start drafting impeachment legislation after Rosenstein’s congressional testimony a couple of weeks ago.

“I’ve had my differences with Rod Rosenstein,” Gowdy continued. “I talk to him quite often privately, which again is a lot more constructive than the public hearings we have.”

In his usual style, Gowdy bombastically attacked Rosenstein at his hearing, demanding loudly that he “finish the hell up” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Gowdy reportedly added that if anyone wants to remove Rosenstein it should be Trump who is free to fire his own appointee.

He finished by asserting his support of the Mueller probe. “I don’t think it’s a witch hunt,” Gowdy said. “Russia attacked this country in 2016. That’s the number one thing we’ve asked Mueller to look at.”

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In an unusual response to the Russian indictments Friday, the White House issued a statement full of bullet points emphasizing that no Americans were charged. The statement conspicuously lacked any condemnation of Russia’s election meddling or a pledge to step up election protections.

The statement reads:

“As Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said today:

o “There is no allegation in this indictment that Americans knew that they were corresponding with Russians.
o There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime.
o There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result.”

Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result. This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Friday that 12 Russians have been indicted for hacking into the computers of those involved with the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC, among others, to steal and disseminate damaging information during the campaign.

President Donald Trump, who has known about the pending indictments all week, has made no move to cancel his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in light of the charges.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Friday called on President Donald Trump to back out of his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin after indictments were handed down charging 12 Russian intelligence officials with hacking various computers, including those at the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC, to meddle in the 2016 election.

“These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win,” Schumer said in his statement.

“President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections,” Schumer added. “Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent out a statement shortly after, saying that while Trump should still attend the summit, he “must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy.”

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