White House Clarifies Trump Remarks on Russia: 'Threat Still Exists'

Trump's 'no' about Russian interference requires more clarification

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday blamed political forces within the USA for attempting to undermine his summit with President Donald Trump in Helsinki, while the American leader called the meeting "a great success" and looked forward to seeing him again. "I let him know we can't have this", he said of the pair's meeting in Helsinki on Monday.

After Trump claimed that he simply misspoke when he, essentially, absolved Russian Federation of guilt for meddling in the United States 2016 presidential election, most Americans determined that Trump was simply backtracking in a poor attempt at damage control. Pinning his entire explanation on that one sentence glosses over everything Trump said before that sentence at the same conference, not to mention the months and months that he's invested in undermining the credibility of the FBI and Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.

Trump wanted a summit with Putin. He cited USA sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the US, telling reporters that Putin "understands it, and he's not happy about it".

Clinton called McFaul a "patriot" and said it is "deeply troubling" that the Trump administration would hesitate to defend him.

Despite the controversy, Republican voters seem to be sticking by Mr Trump, with a Reuters/Ipsos poll this week finding that Mr Trump's Finland summit had no real impact on his overall approval ratings.

"First of all, that's not what I said".

"Trump recognized Russian Meddling MANY TIMES", the president wrote to his 53.1 million followers, along with the super-cut from the Fox News morning program.

Russian government officials have spent the past two days touting important "verbal agreements" made between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at Monday's summit in Helsinki, but US officials appear to have no idea what they're talking about. "Look at what we've done". "He understands it, and he's not happy about it". "In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word "would" instead of 'wouldn't.' The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russian Federation'".

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.

That forced a tortured clarification of his remarks for the second day in a row.

"We believe the threat still exists", she told reporters Wednesday, explaining that the president's earlier statement was in response to a different question.

Democrats and some members of Mr Trump's own Republican Party have criticized him for accepting at face value Putin's denial that Russian Federation interfered in the vote.

In his comments, Mr Putin said the meeting had been "successful and has led to useful agreements".

Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern pushback from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the United States president sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error.

He wasn't saying "no" as an answer to the question, Sanders insists, but was saying no to taking questions at all.

Republicans voted down a motion offered by Democrats in the House of Representatives intelligence committee to subpoena the American interpreter who witnessed Trump's meeting with Putin.

Trump also went after former top intelligence officials when asked if they were 'out to get you'.

Mr. Trump faced harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle, with many describing his comments as disappointing at best.

Asked by reporters on Wednesday if Russian Federation was still targeting the United States, Trump shook his head and said, "No". "So when he sees that he has misspoken, he comes out and he says that", Sanders continued.

"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russian Federation'".

Sanders explanation of Trump's "No" was the second time since Monday's summit that Trump and the White House have blamed a misstatement or misunderstanding for the furore over Russian Federation.