Amid uproar, Trump says he’s ‘looking forward’ to second meeting with Putin

Trump faced fierce bipartisan criticism for saying at a summit Monday in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he didn't see why it would be Russia that meddled in USA elections - before later claiming he meant to say he didn't see why it wouldn't be Russia.

Trump made his comments three days after his summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, where he was criticized for holding reservations against U.S. intelligence reports and failed to condemn Russia's meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

White House aides are anxious that Trump will interpret the comments by Coats as a personal betrayal since they came so soon after the president praised him.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he wished to have a second meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Media figures and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have lobbed criticism toward the USA president for holding a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki, during which Trump expressed doubt over the claims of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election.

In an emoji-filled tweet, Hayden responded to a tweet from Washington Post columnist Max Boot who said that Trump's claiming he merely misspoke during his refusal to condemn Russian Federation for its alleged 2016 election interference was because the president is "deathly afraid of being laughed at". "In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't", a back-pedaling Trump told reporters.

In Twitter posts on Thursday morning, Trump accused the news media of distorting comments in which he gave credence to Putin's denials of election interference.

Lisa Murkowski, who demanded a more forceful response from Trump.

But sanctions legislation can be notoriously complicated to write, and the broad scope of the measure - which would snap stiff sanctions on Russia's banking and energy sectors if the director of national intelligence found evidence of interference in the 2018 election - could have spillover effects that would hit U.S. businesses.

The backlash has thrust Trump onto the defensive, leading to days of conflicting statements from both the president and the White House.

No Russian leader has visited the White House in almost a decade.

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The next day, after a barrage of criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats, Mr. Trump said he misspoke and that he accepts the findings of the USA intelligence community. "In the United States, in Russian Federation, or anywhere else", he said in a statement.

In his comments, Mr Putin said the meeting had been "successful and has led to useful agreements".

Earlier Mr Trump rejected a proposal by Mr Putin that Russian Federation be allowed to question U.S. citizens.

Trump clapped back at his critics and said he was "far tougher on Russia" than his predecessors.

Trump's comments were characterized as "disgraceful" and "shameful" by USA leaders from both parties.

Then, after she repeated it, Coats said, "That's going to be special".

Putin doesn't blame Trump for that.

The ministry also said it was preparing to conduct flight tests of a new nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Burevestnik or Storm Petrel.

Trump had toughened his tone about Russia on Wednesday, saying in a CBS News interview that he told the Russian president to his face during Monday's summit to stay out of America's elections "and that's the way it's going to be".

"Basically, they are the ones that are trying to undermine our basic values and divide with our allies", Coats said.

At his joint news conference with Putin, Trump said they discussed Syria "at length" but was vague about the outcome. He says with that pressure on him, why shouldn't the USA go forward and see what happens.

  • Michelle Webb