Trump 'will be forced to impose Russian Federation sanctions'

Michael Mc Faul Edward Snowden

'I have President Putin - he just said it's not Russian Federation.

Mr Trump's meeting with Mr Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the worldwide stage with a man he has described as an important USA competitor - but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader.

Trump stunned the world on Monday by shying away from criticising the Russian leader for Moscow's actions to undermine the election and cast doubt on USA intelligence agencies, prompting calls by some U.S. lawmakers for tougher sanctions and other actions to punish Russia.

He did this in Helsinki, too, and executed a convoluted walkback of those remarks on Tuesday, saying he misspoke in Finland.

Again on Wednesday, he told CBS he agreed with those U.S. findings.

"When I heard that he said no it really bothered me 'cause that's a disconnect between the intel", Graham said. "I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah".

A few hours earlier, Trump had answered "no" when asked if the longtime United States foe was still targeting American elections.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said last week that "the warning signs are there".

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.       Kevin Lamarque  Reuters
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kevin Lamarque Reuters

Facing the onslaught of criticism, Trump sought to clarify his remarks by telling reporters that when he said he saw no reason why Russian Federation "would" interfere, he meant to say he saw no reason why it "wouldn't" be Russian Federation, which led to another media frenzy.

"The threat still exists", she said.

He also accused past American leaders, rather than Russia's destabilising actions in the USA and around the world, for the souring of relations between two countries.

A plan to allow America's top spy to trigger sanctions against the Kremlin for future election meddling, effectively freezing the White House out of a critical area of foreign policy, is gaining traction in Washington after President Trump's summit with Vladimir Putin. "Look at what we've done". Sanders repeated that Trump was not answering the question posed in the Cabinet meeting earlier, and said Vega didn't understand his response because she asked a follow-up question.

Contrary to the US government's fears leading up to the 2016 president election, hacking the nation's election infrastructure appeared to take a back seat to stealing and leaking salacious documents from the Democratic National Committee and House Democrats' campaign arm to destabilize public opinion.

Democrats and some members of Trump's own Republican party have criticized him for failing to hold Putin accountable and for accepting his denial at face value.

The summit in fact had the two world superpowers sit down and discuss in a civilized way for two hours privately, and then two hours with staff, the wide gamut of issues that are important to this world.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump had already gone "back to his old ways" despite his effort to clarify the remarks.

Finns protest Trump-Putin meeting
Finland has a long legacy of hosting U.S. -Russian rapprochement or decisions about Europe made "over the heads of Europeans". US President Donald Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

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