After backlash, Trump says misspoke on Russian election meddling

At the White House on Tuesday, Trump was adamant that he had "full faith in our intelligence agencies". The president appeared to have accepted Putin's assertion the day before that Russian Federation was not involved.

"We're doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018", the president said.

"I think what we ought to focus on is additional sanctions rather than just some messaging exercise", the Texas Republican said. "Our response to the debasement of American interests before a foreign adversary demands a response not just in word but in deed", Schumer said.

Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, Trump said he misspoke when he addressed reporters in Helsinki a day earlier.

"I said the word "would" instead of 'wouldn't, '" Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

In a statement today Mr Trump said he meant to say "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia". And I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.

Browder made his comments as Russian news media reported that the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office was preparing to ask USA authorities to interrogate three US intelligence officers and a former USA ambassador to Moscow, among others, in the presence of Russian prosecutors in connection with Russia's criminal case against Browder. He did not mention the far greater number of occasions on which he has sown doubt about whether Russian Federation meddled.

"Who do you believe?"

Over on "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah mocked Trump for blaming both the USA and Russian Federation for the breakdown of relations between the countries.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was also reportedly angered by Trump's press conference and believed it would add fuel to special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russian Federation probe.

The language used by Democrats was much harsher, including accusations of "treason".

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US President Donald Trump has been forced to backtrack after a media storm following his seeming defence of Russian Federation over claims of meddling in his country's presidential elections in 2016.

Democratic California Representative Jimmy Gomez charged: "To side with Putin over USA intelligence is disgusting; to fail to defend the United States is on the verge of treason".

But he added that the Russian actions had no impact on the outcome of his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former US secretary of state, and reiterated his frequent statement denying that there was any collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. That line was scribbled in black marker onto a typewritten sheet of remarks on the table before him. Then he added, "It could be other people also". A lot of people out there.

"They're going to look at the field and they're going to say 'Donald Trump's got 80 per cent approval with the Republican base - why am I going to try to pee on that bonfire?'".

The indictment accuses members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU of carrying out "large-scale cyber operations" to steal Clinton campaign and Democratic Party documents and emails.

Trump made no mention of his having walked back comments that called into question USA intelligence findings of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

However, he tweeted six times and appeared on two television interviews since the Putin news conference - without correcting his remarks. He watched coverage of himself on a flat-screen television hung above the leather sofas in his office. He snapped at aides, complaining that the coverage was "so negative".

The Republican rebuke from Capitol Hill came largely from those lawmakers who have been willing to openly criticize the president.

President Trump tried to squirm away from what he said yesterday.

Several Republicans who normally defend him on television were silent. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who made glowing statements on Trump's summit and blamed the bipartisan protests on "Trump-derangement syndrome".

"Could be other people also", Trump said. "But the most important thing here is to communicate with fellow Republicans and allies around the world to let them know that the administration is on the same page when it comes to Russian Federation".


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