Trump strikes back at critics of Helsinki summit with Putin

Alexey Nikolsky  Sputnik  Kremlon  Rex via Shutterstock

Alexey Nikolsky Sputnik Kremlon Rex via Shutterstock

Trump came under a torrent of criticism from Democrats and Republicans for statements at his summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday casting doubt on US findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he had "full faith" in U.S. intelligence agencies and wanted to clarify his Monday statements.

Several Republicans said they would consider new legislation to sanction Russian Federation for future election meddling, after Trump declined an opportunity Monday to publicly warn Putin against such interference.

Back at the White House on Tuesday, the president told reporters that he said he meant he doesn't see why Russian Federation "wouldn't" be responsible. All are nervously watching Twitter to see if the President attempts further cleanup beyond his tweet after the event Monday when he said he has "GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people".

Putin, for his part, said he and Trump have maintained regular contact through phone calls and meetings at worldwide events but "the time has come to have a thorough discussion on various global problems and sensitive issues". John Cornyn of Texas, said sanctions may be preferable to a nonbinding resolution that amounts to "just some messaging exercise". 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.

Now, his aides are wondering how he'll respond to anger from even his staunchest supporters after he sided with Putin over USA intelligence agencies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

During Medvedev's four-year term, Putin - president prior to and after his tenure - served as Russian prime minister.

"While we should seek to improve the situation in Syria and seek cooperation on other issues, we must also recognize the consensus that Russian Federation did try to interfere in our election", Poliquin said in a statement. As presidential candidates, Paul questioned the "sophomoric quality" of Trump's temperament, comparing his tendency to attack people's looks and character to what "happened in junior high", and questioning whether that made him unfit to be commander in chief.

Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.

With that, Trump declared the contretemps over, insisting, "I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself".

In the Senate, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY called for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials to appear before Congress and tell exactly what happened during Trump's two-hour private session with Putin. He defended Trump's skepticism to CBS News Tuesday citing the president's experience on the receiving end of "partisan investigations".

The political firestorm over his performance at the Helsinki news conference has engulfed the administration and spread to his fellow Republicans, eclipsing most of the frequent controversies that have erupted during Trump's turbulent 18 months in office.

Members of Congress, including several powerful Republicans, distanced themselves from Trump's remarks and aligned themselves with USA intelligence estimates that Russian Federation had interfered in the election.

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