Trump's 'No' About Russian Interference Requires Yet More Clarification

US President Donald J. Trump

"He's an expert, this is what he does, he's been doing a very good job". I can only say I do have confidence in our intelligence agencies as now constituted. "It better not be". He said that he meant to say he saw no reason why Russian Federation "wouldn't" interfere in the election - a laughable clarification that few observers took seriously. The president's comment continues his reluctance to strongly condemn President Putin head on, publicly at least, for what US intelligence agencies have concluded was clear interference by the Kremlin, under Putin's direction, to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

Trump told CBS News that he holds Putin responsible "because he's in charge of the country, just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country". "I can only say that I do have confidence in our intelligence agencies as now constituted".

"I think I did great at the news conference". I think that (CIA Director) Gina (Haspel) is excellent. "I think the hysteria that came from the opposition party media, the full meltdown, missed the big picture".

"He likes President Xi, he likes Erdogan - who I think is the most risky guy in the world", Bannon said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Mueller is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the election and Russians' ties to the Trump campaign. An earlier version of this story said that Mr. Trump "denied" that Russian Federation was targeting the U.S.

"Obviously he has a very different take on what's occurring", said Rubio, who also sits on the intelligence committee.

But even while walking back numerous answers he gave Monday, Trump still defended his performance at the Helsinki press conference.

Trump's views surrounding election meddling have been repeatedly called into question.

Following the airing of the CBS interview, Clapper responded to Mr. Trump's comments on CNN.

HORSLEY: It sounds like sort of typical Trumpian hyperbole, but some analysts I've talked with say it's not without foundation.

Kimmel continued, "Now, I've never heard of Trump Derangement Syndrome - I'm not a doctor - but if it is a syndrome named after Donald Trump, I assume it's sexually transmitted". "Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack".

"The president is going to meet with his team and we'll let you know when we have an announcement", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at Wednesday's press briefing.

But Sanders said Trump was only saying "no" to further questions from reporters and not replying to the question on Russian Federation.

Stelter was referring to an exchange during the White House briefing Wednesday where Sanders tried to ignore a reporter's follow up question, but was thwarted by the reporter she was trying to move on to.

She added that it's "our goal" to stop any foreign meddling and that Trump made clear during his meeting with Putin to "stay out of USA elections".

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