White House insists Trump believes Russian Federation still a threat

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The president's assertion would conflict with a statement issued Monday by National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, who said Russian Federation has "ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy".

"I don't see any reason why it would be", Trump said in Helsinki. "And I have felt very strongly that, while Russia's actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying that, and I have said this many times, I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place".

Clearly, the internet isn't buying it.

"We're all sort of used to Trump by now, and you say to yourself that we've gone as low as we can, and then you see what he said, and it's so much worse than you'd think", Deitz said.

"Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction", he said.

"It's imperative we get to the bottom of what is going on so we can be prepared to protect ourselves in advance of the 2018 elections", Graham said.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a congressional committee in February that he already had seen evidence Russian Federation was targeting U.S. elections in November, when Republican control of the House of Representatives and Senate are at stake, plus a host of positions in state governments.

Mr Putin had both criticism and praise for Mr Trump in a broad speech about Russian foreign policy.

USA intelligence officials have said Russia's efforts to undermine elections are continuing and now target the November 6 congressional races.

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A few hours earlier, Trump had answered "no" when asked if the longtime USA foe was still targeting American elections. "I have President Putin".

Mr Putin faces no serious political opposition at home, and leads a country that has never experienced a democratic transfer of power.

One such opportunity is what Trump termed an "incredible offer" from Putin to allow the USA access to Russians accused of election hacking and other interference.

"The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russian Federation, even a confrontation that could lead to war".

Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr Trump was saying "no" to answering more questions.

"There has never been a president as tough on Russian Federation as I have been", he said.

No, I don't think there's a chance in hell that would happen. "That was a big factor", Trump said.

He asserted at the White House that no other American president has been as tough on Russian Federation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein went to Trump last week and offered him the choice: before or after the Putin summit on Monday in Helsinki? Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., that would slap new sanctions on Russian Federation or any other country caught posting ads, running fake news or otherwise interfering with election infrastructure. "It's called Trump Derangement Syndrome!" "They voted for him because they wanted to try something different".

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