Trump claims he misspoke at Helsinki summit with Putin

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"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place", he said, reading the prepared text.

During the live press conference, Trump said Putin was "extremely strong and powerful" in denying Russia's involvement in the election, despite the fact it came just three days after the Department of Justice indicted 12 Russians for hacking into DNC servers and distributing emails, with substantial, specific and damning evidence against them. "I've never seen anything like this". He said that Russian Federation "did meddle with our elections" and that he would consider further sanctions against Moscow.

Speaking in Helsinki, Trump cast doubt on USA intelligence findings that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 US election, saying he didn't see why Russian Federation "would" be responsible.

The admission came in the White House Cabinet Room, where Trump was sitting with lawmakers for an otherwise unrelated meeting.

Several notable Republicans went on to rebuke Trump's meeting and described it as "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory". And he blamed the poor state of relations between the two superpowers on foolishness by both countries.

Despite a televised interview and numerous postings to Twitter, Trump did not correct himself until 27 hours later.

Their relationship soured further previous year, when Trump took the advice of his national security advisers and made a decision to commit more resources and time to the war in Afghanistan, launch strikes against government targets in Syria, and step up defense spending to unprecedented levels.

"President Trump tried to squirm away from what he said yesterday". A lot of people out there.

His backtracking failed to quell the controversy.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Trump has done "deep damage" to the country. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement released shortly after the summit.

Mr Trump said: "I realise there's a need for some clarification", adding that what he meant "should have been obvious - I thought it would be obvious but would like to clarify in case it wasn't".

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer was quick to pounce. Vladimir Putin does not share our interests.

Several senators from both parties backed tougher sanctions on Russian Federation, but it was unclear if Republican congressional leaders would support such a move or what new sanctions might be crafted.

Russian president Vladimir Putin called Donald Trump a competent leader, with headlines calling out that: 'good results were reached, ' 'Trump considers Putin a strong leader, ' and that 'Russian annexation of Crimea is not off the table'. Translation: I'm inclined to accept the word of a longtime KGB officer over the evidence offered by USA intelligence and my own Justice Department.

Even before the allegations of Russian meddling, tensions were high over Moscow's concerns about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expansion, Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its military backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

On Tuesday he clarified, saying he meant to say that he saw no reason why it would not be Russian Federation that interfered in the elections, and that he had full faith in US intelligence.

Earlier this year, Paul even threatened to withhold his support for secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo over the Trump administration's Afghanistan policy - prompting the president to launch a personal appeal to the Kentucky Republican to prevent Pompeo from being the first secretary in over a century to fail to get the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's backing.

"We're trying to figure out what would be an appropriate way to push back", Corker told reporters.

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