Speaking at the White House Tuesday afternoon, President Trump clarified remarks he made during a joint press briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday.
The president said he accepts U.S. intelligence analysis that Russia did in fact interfere in the 2016 presidential election through propaganda, while stating there was no collusion between the Kremlin and his campaign. He said his administration is doing everything possible to prevent Russian meddling in future elections.
"I have full faith in our intelligence agencies," Trump said. "I accept our intelligence community conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place."
"We are doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018," he continued.
.@POTUS on his comments during a news conference with Putin: "I would like to clarify...the sentence should have been 'I don't see any reason why I wouldn't, or why it wouldn't be Russia.'" https://t.co/tnfsN0sCqZ pic.twitter.com/1QaVqglq1Y— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 17, 2018
.@POTUS: "I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also...There was no collusion at all." https://t.co/gfbd21PPp2 pic.twitter.com/3Ht30p80nx— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 17, 2018
President Trump has been under fire from Democrats and Republicans for his remarks Monday, when he equated the U.S. intelligence community with Putin.
After clarifying his remarks, Trump reiterated the progress he believes was made with Putin during a two hour long private meeting between the two leaders.
"I enter the meeting with the firm conviction that diplomacy and engagement is better than hostility and conflict," he said.
.@POTUS on meeting with Vladimir Putin: "Perhaps the most important issue that we discussed at our meeting, prior to the press conference, was the reduction of nuclear weapons throughout the world." pic.twitter.com/Cfi7SktsWS— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) July 17, 2018
In the meantime, a number of Senators are considering bringing a measure to the floor backing the U.S. intelligence community. They may also call Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify about the meeting between President Trump and Putin, which was held only with translators.
Sen. Graham tells Post that Sec. Pompeo is likely going to be called to testify ASAP since senators are wondering what actually happened in Helsinki and whether deals were struck with Putin— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 17, 2018