President Trump struggles to contain firestorm over Putin summit

President Trump struggles to contain firestorm over Putin summit

US President Donald Trump tried on Tuesday to calm a storm over his failure to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable for meddling in the 2016 US election, saying he misspoke in a joint news conference in Helsinki.

US President Donald Trump has defended his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid a backlash over his performance.

At their Helsinki meeting a day earlier, Trump failed to challenge Putin over the 2016 presidential election, seeming to accept at face value the strongman´s denial that Moscow interfered in a bid to undermine the Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"After the carnage of the last few days, we've seen plenty of punters Putin money on Trump's impeachment again - although I'm sure they'll soon get a message, in Russian, urging them to stop", a Paddy Power spokesman told Yahoo News.

Taking to Twitter early Wednesday, President Donald Trump defended anew his much-criticized performance at the Helsinki summit, promising "big results" from better relations with Russian Federation and hitting back at "haters".

Trump walked back his comments after top Republican congressional leaders implicitly criticized Trump's initial remarks in Finland.

In an effort to clarify his comments about Russian election interference and U.S. intelligence agencies, Trump gave a statement to cameras from the White House Tuesday in which he outlined in general terms some of his discussion with Putin.

On Tuesday, Trump appeared to walk back some of his comments in Finland, saying that he had full faith in the USA intelligence community shortly after tweeting that while he had a good meeting last week with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders, "I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation". "I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said.

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But if words matter, then Trump's critics should be careful what they say.

CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Hurd, who is a former CIA officer and member of the House Intelligence Committee, if he trusted Trump's ability to speak on behalf of USA interests.

The opportunity for Putin to present himself as an equal to the USA president was a major objective for the Kremlin as it prepared for the summit, according to people close to the Russian foreign policy establishment.

In Russia, the meeting was portrayed as the coming together of two strong leaders - something pro-Kremlin commentator and conservative TV host Andrei Afanasyev said was important to the Russian people. "I will say this I don't see any reason why it would be".

Then, on Wednesday, Trump was asked during a Cabinet meeting if Russian Federation was still targeting the USA, and he answered "no" without elaborating. "Lots of other people out there".

Despite claiming not be pro-Russia, Trump heaped more praise on the autocratic nation, while at the same time taking aim at one of our allies.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has dismissed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into election meddling and collusion with his administration as a "witch hunt". "The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not an ally", Ryan said in a statement.

This time, according to Trump and Putin, it's different. "They have the potential to really hurt", said Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

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