White House struggles to contain political outcry over Trump-Putin summit

White House struggles to contain political outcry over Trump-Putin summit

Later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sought to clarify Trump's comments, saying his "no" meant that he was not taking any questions from reporters.

The basis for the assessment, despite what he said was "great confidence" in his intelligence agencies, was that Mr Putin had given an "extremely strong and powerful" denial. Russian officials have said they want to interview Kremlin critics Bill Browder and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. "So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes", Trump told CBS News in an interview. "I would, because he's in charge of the country". Lindsey Graham, a confidant of Trump's, said on Twitter that there was "A BIG discrepancy between President Trump's statement and DNI Coates' warning", and expressed disagreement with Trump, saying, "My personal view: the Russians are at (it) again".

Mr Howard also said the alliance between Australia and the U.S. was "rock solid". The speaker said he stood by his Monday statement that "the president must appreciate that Russian Federation is not our ally".

"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place", Trump conceded Tuesday.

"It could be other people also - there's a lot of people out there", he said.

One such opportunity is what Trump termed an "incredible offer" from Putin to allow the US access to Russians accused of election hacking and other interference.

Republicans and Democrats accused him of siding with an adversary rather than his own country.

But he appeared to veer from his script to also hedge on who was responsible for the election interference.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a very vocal opponent of Donald Trump ever since he began his presidential campaign.

"The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.' Sort of a double negative", he added.

Yet the president's support held firm among the Republican rank-and-file, especially from members of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus.

After the outburst of news at the beginning of this week from President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting in Helsinki, Finland, we decided it was time to call a special midweek news roundtable to dig into the headlines.

Trump made no mention of his having walked back comments that called into question USA intelligence findings of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Standing alongside Mr Putin, Mr Trump steered clear of any confrontation with the Russian, going so far as to question American intelligence and last week's federal indictments that accused 12 Russians of hacking into Democratic email accounts to hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday finalized a rule that rolls back standards for disposing of the toxic ash produced by burning coal, The Hill reports.

Republican Senator John McCain accused Trump of "playing right into Putin's hands" with the president's comments in a Fox News interview on Tuesday that appeared to question the American commitment to defend all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russian Federation.