Russian meddling in election meant as 'warning' to Clinton, former AG says

A day after his much-criticized news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump attempted some damage control Tuesday, saying "I accept" the findings of the US intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"Just to repeat it, I said the word would instead of wouldn't", Trump said, referring to his answer at the press conference, in response to a question about whether Russian Federation had tried to influence the American election: "All I can do is ask the question - my people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russian Federation".

In a move not cleared by the White House, the top intelligence official in the United States has refuted President Donald Trump's remarks in Helsinki - unequivocally affirming that the Russian government did act to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. "There was no collusion at all".

He added that he had spent a great deal of time talking to Putin about the accusations of election meddling, but that he had "no reason to believe" that President Putin's government had interfered with the United States presidential campaign in 2016.

"We need to make sure we can equip them with the tools they need to stop this", Ryan said, adding that he had not spoken to the president since his much-maligned remarks in Finland.

Coats' statement broke with Trump, who expressed doubts at the Helsinki summit with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin about the intelligence community's finding.

The president also vowed to stop Russian Federation or any other country from cyber attacks on this year's midterm elections. He said that Russian Federation "did meddle with our elections" and that he would consider further sanctions against Moscow.

The US president said he had "great confidence in the US intelligence community, but noted that Putin "was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

As Trump was declaring his "full faith and support" for United States intelligence agencies, the lights in the Cabinet Room went dark.

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But Trump's top aide signaled that would not be the approach the president takes.

"There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russian Federation, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals", said Ryan in a statement.

In the House, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi planned a vote Tuesday in support of the intelligence committees findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

"President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin", McCain continued.

"I was there two years ago", he said. Just 38 per cent of Republicans now see Russian Federation as a "threat to the well-being of the United States", down 20 points in the last few years despite Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

The right question is not "when will Trump presidency end'?" "I think that probably clarifies it".

The Wisconsin Republican mentioned Mueller's Friday indictments of 12 Russian spies charged with hacking Democrats' and Hillary Clinton's emails and disseminating them and other damaging information on phony social media accounts they created.

Kimmel also opened his Live broadcast with an incredulous recap of the summit meeting, summarizing it as "a total win for Putin and a shameful day for America". "But the journalists think it's all about them, which is what tells me that many of them, 'cause I think they still to this day get up every day hoping. this day is gonna be the day that whatever smoking gun evidence is out there is finally revealed that will allow them to get rid of Donald Trump".

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