Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

White House Says 'Threat' From Russia Still Exists

White House Says 'Threat' From Russia Still Exists

He backed away from his public undermining of American intelligence agencies, saying he misspoke when he said he saw no reason to believe Russian Federation had interfered in the 2016 US election.

Speaking during the White House press briefing Wednesday, the first held in two weeks, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump told Russian President Vladimir Putin to stay out of USA elections during their two hour private meeting in Helsinki Monday. "Russia has agreed to help with North Korea, where relationships with us are very good and the process is moving along", he said.

Speaking about his talks with Putin, Trump said: "As successful as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was, I think this was our most successful visit".

However, Sanders told reporters at a news briefing hours later that the U.S. president's "no" was no in answer to a reporter's question: "Is Russia still targeting the United States?"

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, sparred with reporters during a press briefing on Wednesday.

Democrats say the woman who translated for President Trump - and the notes she took during the meeting - could provide critical information about what transpired.

"I totally disagree. I think it was a strong news conference".

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"The Russians want to have me handed over", Browder said. It would allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors to question alleged Russian intelligence agents accused of hacking Democrat emails, but would also give Russian prosecutors access to United States officials allegedly involved with oligarch Bill Browder's tax crimes - notably, former USA ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul.

Jackson continued by saying this was the second time in three days that Trump or the White House has reversed course on what the president has said.

He read from a statement where he said he supported US intelligence that had found that Russian Federation had interfered.

During an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor on Wednesday, Trump said he agreed with the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 election: "I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true".

In a joint news conference at the Finnish Presidential Palace, Trump said he did not "see any reason why" Russian Federation would have meddled in the 2016 election - a remark that surprised many because it's in direct conflict with the conclusions of the entire USA intelligence community. "Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country", he said.

He said "people at the higher ends of intelligence loved" his press conference with Mr Putin. As it is customary for presidents and first ladies to shake hands and then pose for a picture, the Trumps shook hands with Putin before the summit started. If you're strong, we're going to galvanize people around you and you're going to win in November.

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He pointedly called out the president for refusing to denounce Russian interference in the 2016 election during Monday's press conference at the Helsinki Summit.

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