After backlash, Trump says misspoke on Russian election meddling

Mae Harvey
July 18, 2018

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he had "full faith" in USA intelligence agencies and wanted to clarify his Monday statements.

Speaking from a meeting with Republican lawmakers at the White House, Trump said he had "full faith" in USA intelligence agencies, and wanted to clarify his statements from the day before.

But Monday's session was condemned in advance by members of Congress from both parties after the US indictment last week of 12 Russian military intelligence officers accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump's presidential campaign.

President Donald Trump was upbeat immediately after his news conference with Vladimir Putin in Finland, but by the time he returned stateside on Monday evening, his mood had soured considerably amid sustained fury at his extraordinary embrace of the Russian leader.

In a statement today Mr Trump said he meant to say "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia".

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a strong Trump supporter, called the president's remarks "the worst mistake of his presidency". There are a lot of people out there.

"I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said. He said USA officials could request to be present at such questioning in line with a 1999 agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal cases.

Trump told reporters Tuesday at the White House that he misspoke at the summit.

The latter comment contrasted sharply with the assessment of various US intelligence agencies about what happened in the election that saw Trump become president, and sparked an uproar in the officials and pundits blasted Trump for siding with Putin over American authorities.

"That must be the intelligence agencies", he quipped.

Ryan also said special counsel Robert Mueller should be allowed to continue his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, adding "nothing has changed".

Asked about the tweet and whether he held Russian Federation responsible for anything, Trump said he held "both countries responsible" thinks the United States has been "fooling" and that "we're all to blame".

Trump praised Putin on hosting the soccer World Cup, which ended on Sunday, saying: "It was beautifully done, so congratulations".

But in a sign that battle lines had already been drawn, Schumer's request was denied by John Cornyn, the second-ranking Senate Republican.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier Tuesday he wouldn't critique Trump's appearance with Putin.

"And Putin treats him like a 12-year-old as evidenced by the gift he gave the president", Meyers said, noting how Putin gifted Trump with a soccer ball.

"What we're all anxious about coming out of this summit is that Putin is going to feel emboldened", Hampson said.

'This is an extraordinary thing about President Trump that should be lauded and not little, is that he is willing to meet with adversaries to try to prevent us from having World War III, ' Paul told CBS. The meeting resulted in a determination that Trump would need to clarify his remarks. We won't let the president say otherwise, but we're facing a question: "Where do we go from here?"

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