Trump says he 'misspoke' after Putin meeting, accepts Russian election meddling

Glen Norman
July 19, 2018

Speaking to reporters a day after Trump met with Putin and then in a joint news conference declined to embrace U.S. intelligence organisations' finding that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 United States election, McConnell said, "It really better not happen again in 2018".

Facing widespread backlash, President Donald Trump backpedals from remarks made during Helsinki summit in which he appeared to side with Russian president's denials of interfering in the 2016 USA election.

"I have full faith in our intelligence agencies", Trump said.

On Monday, Daniel Coats, the head of USA intelligence, had fired off a statement reiterating the community's conclusion that Russian Federation had indeed interfered in the 2016 election.

Trump says Russian actions had no impact on the outcome of the vote and the administration would work aggressively to protect the November 2018 congressional elections.

The hosts
The hosts of"Fox & Friends directly addressed President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning. Screenshot Fox News

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, a longtime Trump critic, has raised the idea of passing a resolution that would voice lawmakers' support for the USA intelligence community and US allies, many of who are feeling the sting of strong Trump criticism in recent weeks.

He made these remarks, read from a written note that he seemed to veer away from at times, ahead of a meeting with lawmakers by seeking to quell the storm over appearing to side with Putin against his own intelligence agencies at the news conference.

"I enter the meeting with the firm conviction that diplomacy and engagement is better than hostility and conflict", he said. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing that allegation and any possible collusion by Trump's campaign.

"He is consumed with talk of no collusion", another official said, saying Trump had repeated it all day and "thinks it's the answer to everything".

Some lawmakers said they would seek remedies against Russian Federation in Congress.

"It should have been obvious", the president added.

The President spoke to key lawmakers and outside confidants leading up to his remarks, people familiar with the matter said. I will say this: "I don't see any reason why it would be", Mr Trump said.

"I think it's kept us apart, it's kept us separated", Trump said.

The Kremlin leader also said he wanted Trump to win the election.

Given the negative reaction to Trump's performance on Monday, one can reasonably anticipate that the White House public relations apparatus and tweeting machine will continue to try to have the disaster in Helsinki reinterpreted as a masterstroke of diplomacy and to brand negative media responses as yet more "fake news".

Trump, the first lady, Shine and Miller were seen in animated conversation aboard Marine One when they arrived to the White House South Lawn on Monday evening.

Cecilia Vega, the ABC reporter who asked the question, said on Twitter, "Getting a lot of questions about my exchange" with Trump.

The summit capped a tumultuous trip during which Trump accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of failing to spend enough on their militaries and embarrassed British Prime Minister Theresa May by saying she had refused to take his advice about how to negotiate Britain's exit from the EU.

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