Trump says discussed Middle East with Putin, made progress on conflicts

Trump says discussed Middle East with Putin, made progress on conflicts

Trump says discussed Middle East with Putin, made progress on conflicts

Claiming he misspoke, President Donald Trump reversed his controversial comments denying Russian meddling in the 2016 election after a summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday.

"I'll begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America's great intelligence agencies, always have" he said.

"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that meddling took place", Trump said adding that others could have also been involved. "There was no collusion at all".

Democrats on Tuesday said such statements are not enough, and called on the Republican-led Congress to take real action - including passing legislation to insulate Mueller from political attacks, safeguard future elections, punish Russian Federation and establish greater oversight on Trump. I will say this: "I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said.

And then, because Trump was not buying any of this script he was reading, he added, extemporaneously: "It could be other people also".

Today, he said he accepted that Russian Federation was involved in election meddling.

USA officials had hoped that maybe, just maybe, the summit between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin would end differently - without a freewheeling 46-minute news conference in which Trump attacked his own Federal Bureau of Investigation on foreign soil and warmly praised archrival Russia. "Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties", Putin said.

The president called the Monday summit in Helsinki "even better" than his meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies last week in Brussels.

Trump has faced an onslaught of criticism from Republicans and Democrats for meeting with Putin, whose government has been accused of trying to discredit his election rival Hillary Clinton.

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Schumer also urged the Senate to take up legislation to boost security for US elections and to revive a measure passed earlier by the Judiciary Committee to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.

Several senators, including Republican Ben Sasse, Republican Pat Toomey, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel, have backed more sanctions on Russian Federation, but it was unclear whether Senate or House of Representatives leaders would support such a move or how new sanctions might be crafted.

"Let's be very clear: Russian Federation meddled in our election", Ryan said. Rand Paul, who was one of a small number of Republicans who offered a defense of the president. "I want [allies] to understand that, in this country, there are lot people in both parties who believe that these alliances painstakingly built in the wake of the end of World War II are important and we want to maintain them".

Trump said he was not convinced it was Moscow.

Immediately after Monday's news conference, Trump's mood was buoyant, people familiar with the matter said.

"President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin", he tweeted as Trump headed home from Helsinki.

The summit capped a tumultuous trip 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 had refused to take his advice about how to negotiate Britain's exit from the EU.

Paul's efforts drew praise from Trump, who tweeted: "Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!"

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