Trump is deploying his post-Charlottesville playbook amid Putin press conference backlash

Frederick Owens
July 20, 2018

But Mrs Sanders rejected that interpretation later in a news briefing, telling reporters the White House was taking action to prevent any future meddling.

Asked by reporters before a Cabinet meeting whether Moscow was still targeting the United States, Trump shook his head and said, "No".

Trump said he accepted the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation had meddled in the election, and offered a rambling explanation of his assertion that he could not see "any reason" why Russian Federation would interfere.

Browder said on Fox Business Network that it was "just shocking" for Trump's spokeswoman to say they were considering letting Russian Federation question USA officials. Sanders added that Trump "said it was an interesting idea".

"What they did hear is a statement he made to Putin's very close friend".

But by Wednesday, he was citing the "many positive things" he expects to come from the summit, where Trump and Putin met privately for some two hours, apparently with no one else present but their translators.

"I totally disagree", Trump said when asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had termed it "the most serious mistake in your presidency".

Republicans and Democrats both accused him of siding with an adversary rather than his own country after he shied away from criticizing the Russian leader for what US intelligence agencies say were Moscow's efforts to undermine the 2016 election. Look, we're not partial to anyone in this Brady Bunch, but can you blame her? "They would rather go to war than see this", he said. Sanders said Trump believes the threat from Russian Federation to undermine November's United States midterm elections still exists and that Moscow would still target American elections.

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The US President had also mentioned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign was "a disaster for our country", while also saying that it had negatively impacted US-Russia relations.

Members of Congress from both parties have suggested possible legislation to toughen US sanctions against Russian Federation and enhance election security ahead of November's midterm voting.

"You have people that said, 'You should have gone up to him, you should have walked up and started screaming at his face, '" Trump said to CBS News.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin "responsible" for Russian interfering with the US election in 2016, even as he declined to call him out as a liar in an interview with CBS News Wednesday.

"I have full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies, I always have", Mr. Trump said. "I think they do".

CHANG: All right, to talk more about all of this we've got NPR's Scott Horsley on the line, who joins us from the White House.

Even then, Trump made only a narrow retreat on Tuesday, saying he misspoke a single word in Helsinki. "There's a lot of people out there".

As his rare retraction - Trump is not known to own up mistakes - became the new narrative, the president added a new wrinkle in an unscripted interaction with reporters. "He (Putin) feels strongly about and I feel strongly about it, so that's good".

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