Trump blames ‘double negative’ for furor over Putin meeting

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Top U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump's presidential campaign, leading to the Justice Department indicting 12 Russian government agents last Friday for hacking the Democratic Party.

President Donald Trump, facing an onslaught of bipartisan fury over his glowing remarks about Vladimir Putin, said more than 24 hours afterward that he had misspoken during his news conference with the autocratic Russian leader. "I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump had said, in a remark that stunned listeners and provoked outrage, even from many Republicans.

"We just conducted a yearlong investigation into Russia's interference in our elections".

He has since walked back his remarks, but initially he seemed eager to accept Putin's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 American election over the United States intelligence conclusion.

Hannity said that Trump rightfully met with Putin and likely discussed the two nations' concerns regarding terrorism, the Syrian civil war, and "Iranian aggression".

"We have not been getting along well for the last number of years", Trump said after arriving at the Presidential Palace in Finland's capital, where the leaders are meeting.

The president stressed that he has said those things before and that it also has been determined that Russian interference did not change the outcome of the 2016 election. There are a lot of people out there.

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His backtracking failed to quell the controversy. John McCain of Arizona said in a statement on Monday.

"I realize there is a need for some clarification", he said. Trump, who repeatedly praised and deferred to Putin, was criticised by foreign policy and national security veterans as weak, an insult that is particularly galling to him.

Asked about the tweet and whether he held Russian Federation responsible for anything, Trump said he held "both countries responsible" thinks the United States has been "fooling" and that "we're all to blame".

"We understand the Russian threat", McConnell said, assuring them it is "the widespread view here in the U.S. Senate among members of both parties".

"The role of the Intelligence Community is to provide the best information and fact-based assessments possible for the President and policymakers", Coats said.

Several senators from both parties backed tougher sanctions on Russian Federation.

The White House said Trump would address the summit to reporters ahead of an otherwise unrelated 2 p.m. ET meeting with lawmakers at the White House.

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Congress overwhelmingly passed a sanctions law past year targeting Moscow for election meddling.

"Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties", Putin said.

Even before the allegations of Russian meddling, tensions were high over Moscow's concerns about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expansion, Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its military backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

"We're trying to figure out what would be an appropriate way to push back", Corker told reporters.

The U.S. president added that "discussions are ongoing and they're going very, very well".

Twenty-four hours after saying he did not have faith in his USA intel agencies and instead believed the "very strong and powerful" words of the strongman standing next to him in Helsinki who orchestrated Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump announced today is Opposite Day.

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