What Trump said about Russian Federation today versus alongside Putin at summit

Chris McGrath  Getty Images Europe

"As I said, we condemn Russian Federation and the way that Vladimir Putin engages in global affairs".

Now, his aides are wondering how he'll respond to anger from even his staunchest supporters after he sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The political firestorm over his performance at the Helsinki news conference has engulfed the administration and spread to his fellow Republicans, eclipsing most of the frequent controversies that have erupted during Trump's turbulent 18 months in office.

When asked about election meddling during a joint news conference with Putin Monday, Trump said "President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today", adding that "President Putin says it's not Russian Federation".

Speaking from a meeting with Republican lawmakers at the White House, Trump said he had "full faith" in U.S. intelligence agencies, and wanted to clarify his statements from the day before.

President Trump slammed the mainstream media and politicians on both sides of the aisle over his recent summit in Helsinki Tuesday morning; blasting his opponents for "ignoring" the money he raised from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states and his "successful" meeting with Vladimir Putin.

President Donald Trump attempted on Tuesday to clarify his widely criticized comments in Helsinki, saying that he had misspoken when he said a day earlier that he did not see why Russian Federation would have meddled in the election.

He settled on a regular target for characterizing his Putin presser as anything less than a success - the media.

He went on to say Mr Trump had shown he was both "unable" and "unwilling" to stand up to Mr Putin, labelling the United States leader's performance a "pathetic rout". Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going Crazy!' he said.

Trump was said to have wound up his Scorched Earth European Tour in very good spirits, but that changed when word got out of the extreme level of blowback over his joint Putin presser. "We want to think through what we do so that it benefits our country", Corker said.

"Let's be very clear just so everybody knows: Russian Federation did meddle with our elections", Ryan said. A resolution - as some in the House are suggesting - is "just some messaging exercise", said Cornyn.

Moments before Trump spoke, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked the president over his Helsinki comments.

On Tuesday, after he arrived back in the US, Trump told reporters at the White House that he misspoke at the summit.

He drew sharp criticism from US lawmakers, including top leaders from his own party, for his remarks Monday with Putin. "It's also clear that it did not have a material effect on our elections".

He added that Putin "was extremely strong and powerful in his denial". "Just as he's making the mistake of mixing the two together, so the public says, 'Well, if he's denying this, he's denying everything'". That statement also did not directly confront Trump.

Several Republicans said they would consider new legislation to sanction Russian Federation for future election meddling, after Trump declined an opportunity to publicly warn Putin against such interference.

"This really shows hatred for President Trump more than anything", Paul told PBS.

Kinzinger's pleading echoed former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican who typically defends Trump.

Republican Senator Rand Paul has given a series of interviews supporting Trump's stance towards Putin and berating his critics as biased.

Some lawmakers are talking about passing a resolution denouncing Russia's election meddling, or even considering new sanctions against Moscow. It was the first vote testing how Congress will react to Trump's remarks.

Trump also at varying times in his European trip disparaged the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, which was formed to counter the former Soviet Union.

"President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin".

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