In a joint news conference at the Finnish Presidential Palace, Trump said he did not "see any reason why" Russian Federation would have meddled in the 2016 election - a remark that surprised many because it's in direct conflict with the conclusions of the entire us intelligence community.
On Tuesday, the president appeared to walk back the questionable comments he made at the summit where he appeared to believe Putin's word over the assessment from USA intelligence agencies that the Russian government meddled in the US election.
The White House is denying that President Trump believes Russian Federation is no longer targeting US elections and other infrastructure, despite his apparent answer to a reporter's question Wednesday morning.
Minutes later, he added, "I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place".
"People wanted to hear him say he backed the conclusion of the nation's intelligence community and that he thinks the Russians meddled in the 2016 election", said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. Lotta people out there.
"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation - sort of a double-negative, '" Trump said. And there's been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia, Trump told reporters during his Cabinet meeting at the White House.
"Let's be very clear: Russian Federation meddled in our election", Ryan said.
Republican Senator Rand Paul has given a series of interviews supporting Trump's stance towards Putin and berating his critics as biased.
Ahead of Trump-Putin meeting, lack of preparation leads to low expectations
But Trump's top aide signaled that would not be the approach the president takes. "This was during the Obama administration". Trump and Putin said they are exploring ways to protect Israel from conflict raging near its border in Syria.
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.
That remark, just like all of Trump's comments Monday aside from a single word, went unamended Tuesday.
White House officials did not elaborate on how Trump came to issue the clarification, but administration aides described being stunned by his initial remarks Monday.
Early, Mr. Trump said he was "tremendous retribution" if other countries do not heed his demands for more equitable trade deals with the U.S.
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, called the Helsinki news conference "saddening and disappointing".
"We are just one click of the keyboard away from a similar situation repeating itself", he said. But I'm telling you today, I trust US intelligence.
"President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin", McCain continued.
At that Helsinki press conference after his meeting with Putin on Monday, Trump was asked whether he had confronted Putin about Russia's interference in the 2016 election.