Trump says he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling

As White House Declares Summit a Success, Sanders Rips Trump-Putin Presser as 'Embarrassing Spectacle'

President Trump on Wednesday insisted he's confident in his intelligence agencies' findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 election - but didn't want to call Russian strongman Vladimir Putin a liar for denying Moscow's interference.

Jackson claimed that this represented the second time in three days that Trump or White House officials have "come out and reversed what the president has said" about Russian Federation.

"To me, it's a threat that we need to take extremely seriously", said Wray who was picked by Trump himself after he fired the then FBI Director James Comey previous year.

In rebutting Trump's dismissive comments about USA intelligence on Monday, Coats said, "We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy". He cited USA sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the US, telling reporters that Putin "understands it, and he's not happy about it". The two leaders floated the possibility of allowing Russian officials to interview 11 Americans, in exchange for special counsel Robert Mueller to interview 12 Russians indicted for meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

The operative told Sexton that it was Trump's performance at a televised press conference following the Helsinki meeting with Putin that pushed him over the edge, though he had backed Trump through numerous other controversies. The president also criticized Germany for a natural gas pipeline deal with Russian Federation, saying it made the country "captive" to Russian Federation.

Amid bipartisan condemnation of Trump's embrace of a longtime US enemy in Helsinki, the USA president delivered a rare admission of error Tuesday.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway brushed off suggestions by reporters at the White House that Trump's tweets amounted to a change in posture from comments the president made on Tuesday. "He recognises the fact that 90 per cent of the world's nuclear weapons are under the direction of the U.S. and Russian Federation", she said.

Trump called it an "interesting idea" and an "incredible offer" at the news conference. But even then he made a point of adding, "It could be other people also. There was no collusion at all".

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"The European countries are our friends, and the Russians are not", McConnell declared.

Van Hollen said Trump "isn't willing to protect the integrity of our democracy in the United States, so Congress has to act". "It's 24 hours too late and in the wrong place", he said. "I don't want to get into whether or not he's lying".

Trump returned to the subject of his relationship with Putin later Wednesday morning, asserting that some people would rather go to war than see him get along well with Putin.

While Trump's position on Russian interference has shifted repeatedly in recent days, and fresh comments about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation cast doubt about the alliance's mutual defense premise, some in Trump's party signalled they had had enough with his wrecking ball diplomacy and sought to take steps to box him in.

In exchange, the Russian president offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller to observe interrogations of 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted by a USA grand jury last week for hacking Democratic Party e-mail accounts.

In the House, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi staged a vote in support of the intelligence committee's findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested Tuesday that he could allow a vote on the legislation.

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