Trump then interrupted Garrett to say that the reporter would criticize Trump if he was too tough on Russia, and that Russian president Vladimir Putin assumes that he and Trump will not be able to make a deal because it is "politically unpopular" in the U.S. to do so, given the scandal surrounding former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's inappropriate contact with Russia. "It's a ship, but it's not the Great White fleet".
Besides the Naval base at Groton, Connecticut-based Electric Boat has been selected by the Navy as the prime contractor for the Navy's next generation of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
The ship's appearance also followed reports that Russian Federation has deployed ground-based cruise missiles within Russian Federation in violation of a 1987 weapons treaty.
The Viktor Leonov's location Wednesday off Long Island was reportedly the furthest north off the USA coast it had ever trekked, though still within global waters.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed Wednesday afternoon that it is tracking the ship. Media reports early Tuesday cited government officials who claimed it was within 30 miles of the U.S. Navy's primary Atlantic submarine base in Groton, Connecticut, which would put it within sight of Montauk. The Coast Guard confirmed it was tracking the ship's course, and noted the ship didn't enter US territorial waters, which extends 12 miles out to sea.
Ultimately, King and Himes said this is nothing new - the US and Russian Federation have been spying on each other for decades.
The news of the ship's presence coincides with reports that Russia has secretly deployed controversial cruise missiles and that Russian planes flew within 200 yards of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Porter. The US carries out similar data-gathering and surveillance missions near Russian Federation frequently. That vessel, the Yanter, also approached the Florida coast, where it performed standard research mapping out the U.S.'s communication cables. The Leonov last sailed near the United States in April 2015. While U.S. officials have expressed concerns about Russian military moves in recent days, President Trump has also raised the prospect the two countries could coordinate more closely in the fight against Islamic State in Syria and elsewhere. Officials told CBS News that the ship was likely mapping us communications cables.