United States election meddling: Trump reverses course again


Look, if you've tuned out of the frequent stories of Donald Trump's massive fuck-ups, we don't blame you.

"Well, I would, because he's in charge of the country".

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

Although, despite his admission about Russian interference and meddling, Trump said: "It could be other people also".

It was the second day of reversals and semantic hairsplitting in Trump's statements about Russian Federation and it only deepened the mystery of what exactly he and Putin had talked about during a 2 1/2-hour session in Finland when only their interpreters were in the room with them.

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"The president is going to meet with his team and we'll let you know when we have an announcement on that", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a news briefing.

"My people came to me - Dan Coats came to me, some others - they said they think it's Russia", Trump said, referring to the director of national intelligence and the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate", he said. Told that Sanders had since clarified, she responded, "There's a walk-back of the walk-back of the walk-back of the walk-back?" An earlier version of this story said that Mr. Trump "denied" that Russian Federation was targeting the U.S.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Trump needed to wake up to Russia's efforts to interfere in American elections. Ha had tweeted a half-dozen times and sat for two television interviews since the Putin news conference, before correcting his remarks the next day. And the scripted cleanup pertained only to the least defensible of his comments. That press conference followed an hours-long private meeting between the two with only their interpreters present. Lindsey Graham pointed to "a big discrepancy" between what they believed Trump said Wednesday and Coats' warning. "If the president can't say directly to President Putin that he is wrong and we are right and our intelligence agencies are right, it's ineffective, and worse, another sign of weakness".

Trump made the comment Wednesday while answering questions during a Cabinet meeting. McFaul was sharply critical of the Russian government during his posting in Moscow, and has continued to speak and write regularly about Putin.

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The muddied waters have deepened critics' concerns that Trump is not taking seriously enough threats to the USA electoral system.

During the Cabinet meeting, Mr. Trump otherwise talked more broadly about his Europe trip, mentioning the summit with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels, his visit to the United Kingdom and meeting with Putin, saying "incredible progress" had been made.

Democratic politicians are pushing for Congress to subpoena Donald Trump's interpreter, amid a growing sense of alarm over the private summit in Helsinki between the USA president and Russia's Vladimir Putin. In exchange, Putin wants Russian interviews of Americans accused by the Kremlin of unspecified crimes.

"There has never been a president as tough on Russian Federation as I have been", he said. Lawmakers have urged Trump to reject the deal.

He added, "We will see how things develop further", expressing concern about unnamed "forces" in the USA trying to prevent any improvement in relations, notably cooperation in the Syria war or arms control.

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For his part, Putin said he did indeed want Trump to win in 2016 - because of his policies - but took no action to make it happen. Russian Federation has used election meddling before to undermine public confidence in democratically elected governments.