Trump says Russian Federation isn't a threat, contradicts his own intelligence chief

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"What's the big deal?'" he said.

But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later that Mr. Trump was saying "no" to answer reporters' questions.

USA intelligence officials have said Russian election interference efforts are continuing and now target the upcoming congressional elections in November.

Trump's remarks on North Korea came a day after he announced there was "no time limit" to denuclearize under his accord with Kim Jong Un - a shift in tone from when the U.S. president said the process would start very soon.

"We're doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russian Federation".

Posting on Twitter, Mr Trump said people "who wanted to see a boxing match" were bothered by his rapport with Mr Putin.

After his remarks, the White House released a fact sheet on how the U.S.is "standing up to Russia's malign activities" - a clear bid to counter the notion that Mr. Trump had been soft on Mr. Putin.

"The cover story to accompany the cartoon is titled 'Putin's Poodle: Trump sells out us intelligence agencies with the world watching".

He added, "My personal view: the Russians are at [it] again". The sentence should've been, and I thought it would be maybe a little but unclear on the transcript ...

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Once order was restored, he said he had been in the dark as to why a storm had swirled around his presidency since his Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin.

In a series of tweets following the joint press conference with Putin, Trump doubled down on his belief that a partnership with Russian Federation was the way to a "brighter future". But he added, as he usually does, "It could be other people also".

"If we're in the majority, we'll probably be more effective and you'd see a lot stronger things protecting American security than you will with this majority, which seems so afraid of President Trump".

"We have to ask ourselves, what would've caused the president, who's not prone to correcting himself publicly, to go out 26 hours later", Townsend said.

"As successful as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was, I think this was our most successful visit", Trump said of the Helsinki summit.

But faced with outrage at home, with even some of his political allies demanding that he reverse course, Mr. Trump - in an extraordinary postscript to the summit - sought to walk back his remarks.

Even one of his most loyal Republican supporters, Newt Gingrich, said the comments were the "most serious mistake of his presidency".

Following Trump's comments on Wednesday afternoon, Republican Sen.

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