Putin ‘PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE’ for election meddling says Trump in latest clarification

Arnold Schwarzenegger Calls Trump A

Samantha Power, the former USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Trump's refusal to stand up to Putin was "a travesty", while Democrat congressman Ted Lieu said it was "batshit crazy".

Trump appears to contradict DNI Dan Coats' assessment of ongoing efforts by Russian Federation to interfere in USA elections; Peter Doocy reports from the White House.

The fallout was so severe that Trump made what he called a "clarification" of his comments the following day.

On Monday, Putin said at a news conference alongside Trump in Helsinki, Finland, that he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election over Hillary Clinton, while denying that Russian Federation meddled in the election.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters at a news briefing hours later that the president's "no" was not in answer to a reporter's question, "Is Russia still targeting the USA?"

President Trump said in an interview airing Wednesday that he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible for the Kremlin's attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. "I would, because he's in charge of the country".

"It was important for the President to know what information we've uncovered because he's got to make very important decisions for the country, so he needs to understand what evidence we have of foreign election interference", Rosenstein said.

Sanders denied that was what the White House was doing.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a congressional committee in February that he already had seen evidence Russian Federation was targeting U.S. elections in November, when Republican control of the House of Representatives and Senate are at stake, plus a host of positions in state governments.

In an editorial, The Wall Street Journal declared the Helsinki summit's press conference "a personal and national embarrassment".

IBM seeks US$167m from Groupon in dispute over early internet patents
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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.

In the interview, Trump said he has confidence in the intelligence agencies as they are now constituted - but he had harsh words for several previous senior intelligence officials, including ex-CIA chief John Brennan and James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence.

Conservative journalists find themselves in the "same bind the Republican Party is in", he says. "They either have to tie themselves to Trump, with all the unpredictability, demagoguery and extremism that brings, or risk alienating his very loyal base".

"We're going to have a massive effort to try to get to what happened".

He added: "Some people hate the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russian Federation".

Trump also accused past American leaders, rather than Russia's destabilizing actions in the US and around the world, for the souring of relations between two countries.

"It's insane and should be called insane and outrageous, not just by me, but by the US government", McFaul said.

Still, some on the opinion side for Fox News and Fox Business remained stalwart with Trump. "They want to start negotiations on the real political basis, and I think this is a good start, because the utopian ideas on the worldwide relations always fail". But Ryan said the GOP-led committee found the Intelligence Community employed poor methodology in reaching that conclusion, referring additional questions to the committee. Trump tweeted Wednesday that fallout from Monday's appearance with Putin was impacted by "Trump Derangement Syndrome", suggesting that his critics were going too far in offering critiques.

Lost yet? That's how a growing number of Republican lawmakers feel, as they find themselves defending presidential statements they are having a hard time understanding. During the press conference in the aftermath of the summit, Trump stated that Russian and USA militaries proved to actually get along better than the politicians of the two countries over the past few years, naming deconfliction communication in Syria as an example.


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