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President Trump says he misspoke on Russian Federation, accepts intelligence

18 Juillet 2018

However, Trump said: "We're doing well with North Korea [so] we have time".

In an extraordinary embrace of a longtime US enemy, President Trump openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' firm finding that Russia meddled in the 2016 USA election to his benefit, seeming to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's insistence that Moscow's hands were clean.

California Rep. Ed Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said there is "no way" that Trump should be comparing the actions of USA intelligence agencies to that of Putin's Kremlin.

After Monday's performance by the President, this will become another test of the leaders of a party that once prided itself on being called the party of Ronald Reagan, who was willing to call the Soviet Union the "evil empire" and whose presidency helped bring about the demise of that empire.

The biggest selling Swedish-language newspaper in Finland, Hufvudstadsbladet, carried a picture of a smiling Putin next to Trump with the headline: "Trump was my favourite".

The US and Russian presidents came out of their meeting in Helsinki expressing a desire to talk again on global challenges, after discussing an array of issues from Syria, Ukraine and China to trade tariffs and the size of their nuclear arsenals. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump was trying to "squirm away" from his comments alongside Putin.

Putin "just said it is not Russian Federation".

"I have confidence in both parties", Trump said during the press conference, a response that prompted a rebuke from both sides of the aisle.

Mr Trump also blamed poor relations with Russia on past U.S. administrations rather than Russian actions.

Even as he rejected the notion that Russian Federation had interfered in the election, Putin defended the veracity of the information that was revealed in the Democratic National Committee's hacked emails, which were made public by WikiLeaks in July 2016.

What has United States reaction been?

"The president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally", Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement.

"Yes I do. I hold both countries responsible". Makes the USA "look like a pushover", said GOP Sen.

And, Trump once again seemed to doubt the US intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

"It is not good for us or for the world, but they have riots in all their cities", Trump told Fox News.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) criticized Trump for his attacks on Mueller. Republican Patriots: "Where are you???".

The summit capped a trip overseas during which Trump accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of failing to spend enough on their militaries and embarrassed British Prime Minister Theresa May by saying she refused to take his advice about how to negotiate Britain's exit from the EU.

Putin offered to have Russian authorities assist with Mueller's investigation, by allowing him to be present in Russia for questioning of the 12 Russian agents who were indicted on Friday and accused of hacking into Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign in an effort to influence the 2016 election.

"Of course, numerous problems remain, and we could not clear all the debris", said Putin.

COSTER: What do you think of the fact that Trump took Putin's side against the USA intelligence community?

"I think we've all been foolish".

In a later interview with Fox News, Mr Putin said it was "utterly ridiculous" that some people thought Russian Federation could have influenced the U.S. elections.

He said US-Russian relations should not be "held hostage" to an internal political struggle in America.

European allies are uneasy.

"I encourage the Administration to avoid the mistakes of past Administrations in normalizing relations with Russian Federation at zero cost to Putin and his regime". And the United States political world - and even the White House's own communications team - is unsettled.

The Washington Post's headline is: "Trump touts Putin's "powerful" denial".

President Trump says he misspoke on Russian Federation, accepts intelligence