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Vladimir Putin

Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was met with hostility and skepticism by some members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday in the wake of President Trump's summit last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that he stands by the U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and he warned that the Kremlin has not stopped trying to undermine American democracy.

"My view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day," Wray said. "It's a threat that we need to take extremely seriously and respond to with fierce determination and focus."

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's effort to reset relations with Russia backfired at home after he failed to side with the U.S. intelligence community over Moscow's interference in the 2016 election. The president's equivocation drew bipartisan condemnation, capping a week in which Trump alienated allies and cozied up to adversaries.

Trump himself declared his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki a success, in what he called the "proud tradition of bold American diplomacy."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

On Wednesday, Dr. Mohsen Milani's boss came to him with an idea.

USF Provost, Dr. Ralph Wilcox, wanted Milani, the Executive Director of the USF Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, to organize an event focusing on recent events in Ukraine, including Russia's military intervention in Crimea.

"His argument was that as a globally engaged university, it is one of the responsibilities of our university to inform and educate our students as well as the community about important and developing news," Milani said.

So, between USF faculty and Milani's contacts in the world of foreign affairs, he had three experts lined up to take part in a 'campus conversation' Thursday afternoon - barely 26 hours after Wilcox's initial request.