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White House struggles to contain fallout from Trump-Putin summit

White House struggles to contain fallout from Trump-Putin summit

He said Trump must quickly say that he misspoke and that "the evidence is obviously irrefutable".

Trump made the comment Wednesday while answering questions during a Cabinet meeting. "What the intelligence community has said is 'It's the Russians.' The president seems constitutionally incapable of stating the facts".

That's because during the press conference, Trump missed an opportunity to rebuke Russian Federation for interfering in our elections.

In rebutting Trump's dismissive comments about USA intelligence on Monday, Coats said, "We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

"We see much of the world threatening to return to a more risky, more brutal, way of doing business", he said. "I have President Putin, he just said it's not Russian Federation".

House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world".

Sanders said Trump believes the threat from Russian Federation to undermine November's USA midterm elections still exists and that Moscow would still target American elections.

He also said he accepts the conclusion by USA intelligence officials that Moscow interfered in the election, which saw Trump defeat Democrat rival Hillary Clinton. "The sentence should have been: "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia".

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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at their press conference.

But in the course of the morning, the people around Trump, and perhaps some of his congressional allies, prevailed upon him to attempt some damage control on one key issue, instead of the usual aggressive spluttering.

"I think one of the problems with the attitude around the world of Donald Trump is that people are either totally for him or totally against him".

Trump's comments also stunned some pundits on the president's favorite television channel: Fox News.

He admitted "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".

Facing anger upon his return stateside Trump sought to walk back his remarks in an extraordinary postscript to the meeting.

The political firestorm over Trump's performance at the Helsinki news conference has engulfed the administration and spread to his fellow Republicans, eclipsing most of the frequent controversies that have erupted during Trump's turbulent 18 months in office.


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