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

18 July, 2018, 12:02 | Author: Donnie King
  • U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki Finland

Standing beside Putin in Helsinki, Finland, Trump declined to criticize Russian Federation for meddling and said he doesn't see why Russian Federation would have done that.

After meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Trump said that he had "great confidence" in USA intelligence but that Putin's denial of election meddling was "extremely strong and powerful".

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".

Speculation has centered on whether Russian intelligence agents gathered incriminating information about Trump when he visited Russia for a Miss Universe pageant in 2013.

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

Comey was sacked by Trump in May 2017, ostensibly for his handling of the law enforcement investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump's turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State.

The issue of Russian election interference could come up later on Tuesday, when Trump was scheduled to meet with members of Congress, although it is expected to focus on tax reform.

That's sparked controversy around the world, including in Trump's own Republican Party.




The president's comments came after he challenged the intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election during a joint news conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

"Both Russia and the United States are permanent members of the UN Security Council and major countries with important global influence, and they shoulder important responsibilities for worldwide peace and security", Hua said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., described the meeting in Helsinki as a "tragic mistake".

Putin proposed that same plan after they met at a Group of Seven summit in Germany previous year. Monday, he reversed himself again, calling it an "interesting idea".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wouldn't critique Trump's appearance with Putin. The Russian leader also said that increases in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in "regions where they shouldn't be" was a "destabilizing" factor in the region.

"Zero collusion", Trump said.

On Monday the USA and Russian presidents held almost two hours of one-on-one talks without their advisers in the Finnish capital Helsinki. "It's ridiculous what's going on with the probe".

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