Putin Asked Trump to Let Russia Question McFaul, White House Says

White House denies Trump said Russia no longer targeting U.S.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters at the Capitol as fallout continued over U.S. President Donald Trump's Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2018.

"Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack", he said.

Lindsay Graham sounded shocked at the contradiction in a tweet.

"A BIG discrepancy between President Trump's statement and DNI Coates' warning". I want to focus on how we're going to ratchet down tensions. In exchange, Putin wants Russian interviews of Americans accused by the Kremlin of unspecified crimes.

White House officials did not elaborate on how Mr Trump came to issue the clarification, but administration aides described being stunned by his initial remarks Monday.

She said the threat to the United States electoral system "still exists, which is why we are taking steps to prevent it".

Earlier in the day, when asked by ABC News' Cecilia Vega if Russian Federation is still targeting the U.S., President Trump replied: "Thank you very much, no".

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Earlier Wednesday, Trump claimed that no U.S. president has been as "tough" as him on Russian Federation.

But Sanders said Trump was only saying "no" to further questions from reporters and not replying to the question on Russian Federation. "Look at what we've done. Look at sanctions. Look at ambassadors not there", he continued, referring to dozens of diplomats Russian Federation expelled in retaliation for similar moves by the United States and EU.

"I mean you stood there like a little wet noodle, like a little fanboy. And it was a marked contrast to earlier in the day, when the American president suggested such things were pittances - mere obstacles to making Russian Federation our friend", Blake wrote.

The president and Putin met one-on-one for almost two hours, and the White House has not revealed many specifics about what was discussed. Sanders repeated that Trump was not answering the question posed in the Cabinet meeting earlier, and said Vega didn't understand his response because she asked a follow-up question. "I think I'm speaking for John Brennan and Mike Hayden, it's nearly a badge of honor, when the President sees fit to go after individual private citizens", said Clapper.

Trump called it an "interesting idea" and an "incredible offer" at the news conference. "I think we have excellent people in the agencies, and when they tell me something, it means a lot". Trump now says, with apparent reluctance, that he does agree, but he continues to add that others may have intervened as well.

Sanders called the legislation a "hypothetical" and declined to say whether the president would back it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not committed to voting on the bill but cited it as one possibility following Trump's summit in Helsinki with Putin.

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