Trump backs down, says he misspoke on Russia meddling

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Yet Trudeau noticeably avoided any mention of Trump, who offered warm words for the Russian president during the summit in Helsinki while appearing to blame his own country for poor relations with Moscow and accept Putin's denials of having interfered in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Trump's conflating accusations that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation with the intelligence community's assessment that Moscow interfered in the election, said Scaramucci, who served less than two weeks as the White House's communications director before being forced to resign. Ryan says Russian Federation "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals".

Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential nominee, said Trump had acted against America's democratic principles.

But at the other end of the Twitter scale was former CIA Director John Brennan, calling it "nothing short of treasonous".

Bob Corker, the Senator for Tennessee, told broadcaster CNN: "The President's comments made us look as a nation more like a pushover and I was disappointed in that".

"That was a clean campaign, I beat Hillary Clinton easily", he said at another.

However, Moscow claimed that there was no evidence to indicate that the 12 had links to the Russian military intelligence.

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Trump's defence of Russian interests at the expense of European allies and the U.S. intelligence community is a trend that has been building for months, leaving America's closest allies bewildered. "Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going insane!"

Kremlin officials, speaking in private before the summit, acknowledged that it has been hard to figure out how best to deal with a U.S. leader who is mercurial and flouts political etiquette.

Yet the story could also be read as a subtle defense, a relatively benign explanation for what might be called a presidential blind spot. "Why wouldn't we want to get along with Russian Federation?" said Robertson.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people".

"Engaging with even somebody as evil as Putin is necessary. the way I interpret it is the president was trying to maintain some rapport with him but clearly I disagree with Mr. Putin and I agree with our intelligence officials that they did attempt to meddle in the election".

"None of the voices that were appearing beforehand as hypothetically possible - concessions by the United States - have materialised".

Poland is the biggest former communist country in both the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and has called for the alliance to boost its defences, especially after Russian Federation seized Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014.