The White House was finding it hard to explain statements made by Trump after the Helsinki meeting as uncertainty spread throughout the government about whether he had reached agreements with Putin on Syria and Ukraine, leaving his military and diplomatic corps in the dark, the New York Times reported. The indictments claimed that these officers led a campaign to hack emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chief, which were then leaked online in a bid to harm Clinton's election chances.
Trump further stated he accepted the intelligence community's conclusion Russian Federation interfered in the election, though he added that it could be "other people also".
Trump tweeted Thursday that he looked forward a "second meeting" with Putin and defended his performance at Monday's summit, in which the two leaders conferred on a range of issues including terrorism, Israeli security, nuclear proliferation and North Korea.
The senator said Trump's comments on Russian election interference make him believe "that either Trump doesn't understand what Russia has done, not only to our elections, but to cyberattacks against all parts of our infrastructure".
Trump later said he misspoke when he suggested he didn't believe Russian Federation was behind a cyber influence campaign in 2016, but he has not acknowledged that he repeatedly put the United States intelligence community's assessment and Putin's denials on the same footing - even giving added credence to Putin's denial.
"It was a well laid-out plan".
Moscow denies USA allegations it interfered in the election and Trump denies any campaign collusion. As Salon noted, Trump instead seemed to cast blame on the DNC itself for the hack.
Coats just dared to tell the truth about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
"OK", he continued, pausing for a deep breath.
The Russian ambassador said Moscow is ready to discuss a proposed new meeting between Putin and Trump, Interfax said. Another official said aides thought a proper procedure had been put in place for Helsinki, but it did not work out.
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she still has not seen evidence that Moscow tried to help elect Trump.
The White House had earlier said it would consider the proposal, which Mr Trump called a "tremendous" gesture.
Trump allegedly agreed to consider it, but asked the Russian leader to keep deliberations on this issue confidential.
During a now-infamous press conference with Putin on Monday, Trump said he didn't see "any reason" why it "would" be Russian Federation who interfered in the USA presidential election.
Trump tweeted that the two men discussed Ukraine but has not mentioned a referendum or revealed specifics of the Ukraine discussions. Trump initially had described the idea as an "incredible offer".
A White House National Security Council spokesman said later the United States on Friday rejected a proposal from Russian Federation for a referendum to decide the fate of eastern Ukraine.
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