Trump strikes back at critics of Helsinki summit with Putin

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An understandable mix-up, Trump insisted, caused by his having said onstage next to Vladimir Putin that he did not see any reason why it WOULD be Russian Federation who had tampered in the US election, when he had meant to say he did not see any reason why it "WOULDN'T be Russian Federation". That assertion is not supported by known intelligence.

Trump said Tuesday he misspoke a day earlier when he didn't back up findings by the U.S. intelligence community that Russian Federation had meddled in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Let's just say Americans aren't convinced Trump isn't still team Russian Federation. I will say this: "I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said.

"The sentence should have been, "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia" so, just to repeat it, I said the word "would" instead of 'wouldn't". sort of a double negative", he continued.

Trump backers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have criticized his performance. Whether it's their interference in Syria and the support for the murderous Assad regime, whether it's what they were responsible for in the chemical weapons attack in Salisbury on United Kingdom soil against British nationals.

So far, the only GOP lawmaker aggressively defending Trump's performance with Putin is Sen.

When asked if it was appropriate for Trump to openly contradict USA intelligence services about Russian meddling in US elections, a spokesman for the congresswoman said simply: "No".

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Even hosts on the Trump-preferred Fox News have been critical of his handling of the summit. "I always have", Trump said, re-writing history. "What's the big deal?"

Shortly before Trump staged his begrudging off-camera walk-back, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had kneecapped him, delivering his own message from the U.S. Senate to "our friends in Europe". "It's 24 hours late and in the wrong place", he said.

His remarks, siding with a foe on foreign soil over his own government, was a stark illustration of President Trump's willingness to upend decades of US foreign policy and rattle Western allies in service of his political concerns.

For many Republicans, the issue goes beyond politics.

House Speaker Paul Ryan quickly condemned Trump's comments, though he did not name Trump.

Putin on Monday denied Russian Federation had any role in the election and offered to interrogate a dozen of his country's nationals who were indicted last Friday in the special counsel investigation.

"Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests and it does not share our values", he said.

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"I think President Trump was wrong yesterday in a major way, and I think it was a very embarrassing press conference". Trump tweeted. In all, Trump's remarks amounted to an unprecedented embrace of a man who for years has been isolated by the US and Western allies for actions in Ukraine, Syria and beyond. "Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties", Putin said. But apologies and clarifying statements just aren't Trump's style.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued strong words of support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies that Trump had criticised during an alliance summit days before his meeting with Putin.

Trump's reversal came amid fierce criticism over the remarks from both Democrats and Republicans.

"I'm not here to critique anyone else", McConnell added. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Trump missed an opportunity to relay an important message to Putin: "You mess in our election again and there's going to be big consequences". He made no commitment to bringing the measure up, however. "In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word "would" instead of 'wouldn't'". "I'm disappointed as well by the stunning silence of some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in response to it".

Trump said he was hoping that Tehran "will call us and we'll maybe make a new deal".

The US president has found precious little support for his decision not to confront Putin and faced calls even from allies to change tack.

"Shameful", "disgraceful", "weak" were a few of the comments by American politicians and Trump backers.

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