Intelligence chief Dan Coats: Russia meddled in 2016 election

A day after a diplomatic performance nearly everyone agreed was an unmitigated disaster, President Trump approvingly cited one of the few people who disagreed with that assessment.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the chamber's Republican leaders to schedule hearings on what occurred in Helsinki. Pingree says the President's comments undercut the intelligence agencies, which he says he supports.

The aftermath was a reminder of Trump's singular, political positioning.

For proof, he shared a tweet by former CIA Director John Brennan (a Republican), who declared Trump's behaviour to be "nothing short of treasonous", adding, "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin".

"Our Republican colleagues can not just go, 'tsk-tsk-tsk, '" Schumer said.

Many top Republicans remained on the sidelines after the Justice Department on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for election-related hacking.

"My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coates, came to me and some others they said they think it's Russia", Trump said.

"You get plenty of criticism in public life, I think you've got to expect it, I'm sure he expected it", he said. But he acknowledged that he had personally favored Trump in the race over Clinton. Asked about the finding, Trump quickly slipped into a defense of his legitimacy, calling his bid "a clean campaign". In his remarks Monday, he proved himself unwilling to remove the issue from politics or view it as a security threat or a challenge to US democracy. Lemire asked Trump whether he agreed with the nation's intelligence community, which has concluded Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 elections, or Putin, who has repeatedly denied it. Lemire also asked whether Trump would denounce election meddling and warn Putin not to do it again, and asked Putin whether Russian Federation had gathered incriminating material on the American president.

Speaking with Hannity on Monday, Trump said that America was "doing really well with Russian Federation as of today".

The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russian Federation, making it highly doubtful the Kremlin would ever voluntarily send over the defendants to be prosecuted in an American court.

Congress almost unanimously passed a sanctions law a year ago targeting Moscow for election meddling and for its actions in Ukraine and Syria.

In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace on Monday, Putin once again denied that Russia interfered in the USA elections - calling it "utterly ridiculous" that some people think the Russians could have swayed millions of American voters.

"Does anyone believe he was tougher on Putin in secret?"

Russian state-run news and propaganda sites also quickly seized on the news, with Kremlin-controlled Sputnik News reporting that Trump had "harshly criticized Washington's policy toward Moscow".

Trump's morning remarks, however, were different.

On Monday, Trump rebuked the U.S. intelligence community by declining to endorse the government's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 president election.

Putin noted that Russia would expect the U.S.to return the favor and cooperate in the Russian probe against William Browder, a British investor charged in financial crimes in Russia.

"This was a very good day for President Putin", said Sen.

Some political commentators and Democratic critics of Trump called on his key national security aides to quit in the face of the president saying that he had "confidence" in both Putin and the USA intelligence community.

Just hours before Mr Trump's scheduled meeting with members of Congress, Mr Ryan suggested that the president will be rigorously questioned on his remarks. "He continued to maintain that it was illegal to annex it". He added: "Please get this rubbish out of your heads".

"All I can speculate is that there was an effort underway to sort of figure out if by being nice to Vladimir Putin there is a way that we can establish a better working relationship, which in a ideal world would not be a bad thing between two nations that possess 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons", Rubio said.

He just said it's not Russian Federation.

And Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who has been critical of the Russian Federation probe, said that "Russia is not our friend" and expressed hope that Trump's national security aides could convince him that "it is possible to conclude Russian Federation interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing his electoral success".

  • Leroy Wright