'Say that again?': United States intelligence chief's shocked response to Putin invitation

Merkel Europe can't rely on US ‘superpower'

The U.S. Secret Service says that's standard for all gifts to the president.

A day after his meeting with Putin, Trump "clarified" his statements at a press conference saying he had full faith in the conclusion of United States intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 U.S. election. He added that the two did not agree on everything.

The Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, told a conference in Moscow that the accusations against Maria Butina are groundless and that American authorities tried to "break her" and refused her consular visits for the first few days after her arrest. He gave no details.

But, he added, "Russia was always open to such proposals".

Some in Trump's inner circle saw the Helsinki summit as problematic for the president and that he looked weak, another source close to Trump said, as he missed a chance to show strength in dealing with Putin by confronting him about the election interference.

Asked if he had thought about resigning, Coats said simply: "That's a place I don't really go to publicly".

Since Monday's summit and joint news conference in Helsinki, Trump and his aides have been trying to control the damage done when he stunned the world by siding with Putin over US intelligence agencies on the question of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 USA election. She had said on Wednesday the proposal was being considered.

As Americans groped for information about the meeting, Moscow offered snippets of its version on Friday.

Putin agreed the summit was a success and said on Thursday it "led to some useful agreements", without providing details. He did not spell out what they were.

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He said it was "the president's prerogative" to keep his discussions with Putin to himself.

Russian Federation and the USA have a long history of conflict, dating from the Cold War when geopolitical tensions arose following World War II.

Putin has denied any such meddling.

Merkel, 64, is trying to hold together her fractious coalition, dogged by infighting over immigration policy, while also dealing with Trump and a raft of foreign policy challenges including Brexit.

It was not clear whether such a meeting would take place before or after the November congressional elections in the U.S.

Coats learned of the proposed second meeting with Putin when the White House announced it on Twitter, while he was being interviewed at the Aspen conference.

Merkel's comments Friday came after President Donald Trump invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House.

The interview was conducted after Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin. "What should we do?"

He clarified remarks he made at a news conference after the meeting, in which he said he saw no reason why Russian Federation would meddle in the 2016 United States election - despite U.S. intelligence concluding just that. "Trump got played, he got played for a fool and he embarrassed our country and frankly embarrassed lots of my colleagues across the board - Democrats, Republicans alike".

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