Trump asserts Russia not targeting US, contradicting intel

Asked by reporters at the start of a Cabinet meeting whether Russia is still targeting the U.S. President Trump shook his head and said

"The president's going to meet with his team, and we'll let you know when we have an announcement on that", she said, adding that neither Trump nor anyone else in the administration had committed to accepting the offer.

President Donald Trump contradicted U.S. intelligence agencies again on Wednesday, saying that Russian Federation was not still targeting the United States, and accused his critics of being deranged.

Trump made stronger remarks in an interview later Wednesday with CBS News anchor Jeff Glor, saying he holds Putin personally responsible for Russian interference in US elections. "Since you mention the Skripal case, we would like to get at least some sort of a document or evidence about it but nobody gives it to us.It's the same thing as the accusations of meddling in the election process in America", Putin said.

In an emoji-filled tweet, Hayden responded to a tweet from Washington Post columnist Max Boot who said that Trump's claiming he merely misspoke during his refusal to condemn Russian Federation for its alleged 2016 election interference was because the president is "deathly afraid of being laughed at".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said Trump's "no" meant that he didn't want to take questions.

Even one of Mr Trump's most loyal Republican supporters, Newt Gingrich, said the comments were the "most serious mistake of his presidency".

Meanwhile, Sanders told reporters Wednesday, "The president and his administration is working hard to make sure Russian Federation doesn't meddle in our elections as previously stated".

But during his CBS chat on Wednesday, Trump went as far as saying he personally confronted Putin when they met in Helsinki.

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"I don't want to get into whether or not he's lying", Mr. Trump said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the White House tortured semantics of the past several days continued when Trump replied "no" when asked by reporters whether he believed Russian Federation was "still targeting the US", contradicting Dan Coats, director of national intelligence. "We're not going to have it, and that's the way it's going to be".

On Monday, media outlets in the USA and throughout the world were abuzz, condemning Trump on his remarks he made while taking part in a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During the Cabinet meeting, Mr. Trump otherwise talked more broadly about his Europe trip, mentioning the summit with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels, his visit to the United Kingdom and meeting with Putin, saying "incredible progress" had been made.

"I think I did great at the news conference", he said, later adding: "I don't know what the fuss is all about".

Faced with outrage at home, Trump said Tuesday that he accepted the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation had meddled in the election. "I'm not sure we can change his mind about it, but I'll tell you, we can pass a law that does something about it".

"So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki. But I can have a lot of confidence in the present and the future, because it's getting to be now where we're putting our people in", Trump said.

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