Trump walks back from Putin summit remarks, says he 'misspoke'

Trump walks back from Putin summit remarks, says he 'misspoke'

President Trump has been facing harsh criticism over his controversial decision to side with Putin at the Helsinki summit, during which he denounced intelligence claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump was upbeat immediately after his news conference with Vladimir Putin in Finland, but by the time he returned stateside on Monday evening, his mood had soured considerably amid sustained fury at his extraordinary embrace of the Russian leader.

'But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.

Trump has found himself isolated and under pressure to reverse course after publicly challenging the USA intelligence conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election. First lady Melania Trump was also aboard and was involved in some of the discussions, the people familiar with the matter said. "There is a lot of people out there".

"In a key sentence in my remarks, I said "would" instead of 'wouldn't.' The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.' You can put that in", Trump instructed reporters at the White House. "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia". He meant "I don't see why it wouldn't be Russia", OK?

Now in Washington, Trump is attempting to deny the substance of what he said. "I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place".

In a morning tweet, the president blamed the media for negative coverage of his joint news conference Monday with Putin in Helsinki - a performance by Trump that was widely panned by members of both American political parties. "There was nobody to collude with".

The president has frequently denied that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation in any way during the 2016 race and repeated that view on Tuesday at the White House.




"There was no collusion at all".

President Trump said Tuesday that not only was his meeting with Vladimir Putin great - it was "even better" than one he had a few days prior with America's security alliance.

Meanwhile, Kansas' other USA senator, Republican Pat Roberts, called Russian Federation a "dangerous adversary" Monday on Twitter and said, "Russia remains a threat to our national security".

If Trump "can't say directly to President Putin that he is wrong & we are right & our intelligence agencies are right, it's ineffective & worse, another sign of weakness", he wrote on Twitter.

"Fake News is going insane!" he said.

Trump's attempt to walk back his remarks resembled his response to pushback from his moral equivalence remarks following the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, past year in which he blamed "both sides" for the violence, before reading a prepared statement condemning the white supremacist groups - and then later doubling down on his original remarks. "I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server".

Mr. Trump tweeted that he has "an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia" than he did with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

When asked if it was appropriate for Trump to openly contradict USA intelligence services about Russian meddling in US elections, a spokesman for the congresswoman said simply: "No".

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