Trump tries to calm political storm over Putin summit, says he misspoke

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Trump came under a torrent of criticism from Democrats and Republicans for statements at his summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday casting doubt on US findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

On Monday, Trump stood beside Russian President Vladimir Putin and challenged American intelligence agencies' findings that Moscow had interfered in the 2016 US elections.

"I have the strongest respect for our intelligence agencies, headed by my people", Trump said at the previously unscheduled session with a small group of White House reporters as he prepared to meet with some House Republicans about additional tax cuts.

All four members of Maine's congressional delegation criticized President Trump for again downplaying and casting doubt on Russia's interference in the 2016 election during his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

Trump said he reviewed the transcript and clips from the news conference and said he made a mistake when he answered a reporter who asked the USA president if he would publicly denounce the election meddling to Putin.

U.S. President Donald Trump said here on Tuesday that he will not lift the existing sanctions on Russian Federation, and that there is no "time limit" concerning the U.S. dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

"I also think that many USA presidents have made the mistake to think that they can reset our relations with Russia", Hurd later said.

What did he say at the summit with Putin?

"It should have been obvious, I thought it would be obvious but I would like to clarify just in case it wasn't".

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Trump spoke a day after returning to the U.S.to almost universal condemnation of his performance at Russian President Vladmir Putin's side in Helsinki. Just 38 per cent of Republicans now see Russian Federation as a "threat to the well-being of the United States", down 20 points in the last few years despite Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

Other lawmakers have suggested passing resolutions voicing support for intelligence agencies, or spending more to enhance election security and prevent cyber attacks.

Despite clear interest in Russia in Putin's meeting with Trump, the summit wasn't the No. 1 item on many Russian newscasts or websites on Monday morning. This week, Paul announced in an op-ed in Politico that he would soon be making a trip to Russian Federation to "discuss common ground with their leaders" - and would be consulting with the president before going. "He just said it's not Russia", Trump said.

Even so, he added that the meddling in the 2016 election "could be other people also".

Trump's praise for Putin highlights the gap between the president and the rest of his administration when it comes to Russian Federation, a divide that has left European allies scratching their heads.

If tangible results from the meeting were thin, the ceremony of it and the civil atmosphere between the two world leaders received considerable attention and was interpreted as a move toward improving the soured relations between Washington and Moscow.

By Tuesday afternoon when he faced the cameras, Trump had changed tack.

Democrats held a separate news conference Tuesday in which some described Trump's comments in Helsinki as "treason".

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