Donald Trump says Putin responsible for Russian meddling in 2016 election

Saturday, 21 Jul, 2018

Trump also said once again that he wants to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2018.

Sanders repeated that Trump was not answering the question posed in the Cabinet meeting, saying that Vega didn't understand his response because she had asked a follow-up question. "Do I believe that? No".

Asked if a recording of the meeting existed, Sanders said: "I'm not aware of one".

On Monday, media outlets in the USA and throughout the world were abuzz, condemning Trump on his remarks he made while taking part in a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, during a joint press conference with Putin following their summit in Helsinki, Trump contradicted United States intelligence assessments regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election, saying he did not see any reason why Moscow would intervene.

"Because he's in charge of the country".

"Very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling, we can't have any of that", Trump told CBS.

Surprisingly, considering her natural charisma and virtuosic way with words, Sanders managed to make things worse, because every Trump-Russia controversy has another Trump-Russia controversy inside.

"Certainly I can't have any confidence in the past".

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.

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President Trump again expressed confidence in USA intelligence agencies and their assessment of Russian interference Wednesday, but declined to say whether he believes Vladimir Putin was lying when he denied Russia was behind the meddling effort.

He, however, backtracked a day later on his return to the United States and said that he misspoke in the joint news conference.

Trump attempted to walk back the remarks on Tuesday but instead further muddied his position.

"I think that by stating the fact that the president said that Russian Federation interfered with our election, that's a pretty bold call out of another world leader", Sanders said. Yet in a sign that he cannot fully accept those findings - seeing them as a challenge to his legitimacy - he added that it "could be other people also".

President Donald Trump, right, talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Standing alongside Putin, Trump told reporters in Helsinki that he was not convinced it was Moscow.

"The president also sees this as an opportunity, as he said many times, to be able to work with Russian Federation".

"The president. was saying "No" to answering questions", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said at a news briefing later.

Browder worked with Congress to get the Magnitsky Act passed, preventing foreigners who violate human rights from entering the U.S. The vocal critic of Putin said he would meet with Trump and thinks the president should decisively denounce any suggestion of handing over U.S. officials to Russian Federation for questioning.

But even while walking back numerous answers he gave Monday, Trump still defended his performance at the Helsinki press conference.