Trump passes up opportunity to call Putin a liar

President Trump & President Putin at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki Finland

President Trump was "very strong" with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the prospect of future Kremlin-linked interference in US elections, he stated in a new interview. Also, Trump no longer was speaking alongside Russia's President Vladimir Putin, but addressing reporters from the White House alongside Republican lawmakers. Despite the probe, Mr. Rosenstein was able to brief the president about ongoing grand jury proceedings because of a national security exception, Bloomberg reported.

"You have people that said, "You should have gone up to him".

"I said the word "would" instead of 'wouldn't, '" Trump told reporters.

In the Wednesday interview Mr Trump continued with his changing assertions, saying he would hold Putin personally responsible for future election interference. If you're strong, we're going to galvanize people around you and you're going to win in November.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Ailsa, good to be with you.

Mr. Trump said he also accepts Coats' assessment that the threat from Russian Federation is ongoing.

But Trump stopped short of saying that if the intelligence services were correct in their assessment, then Putin must be lying.

He continued: 'We're doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russian Federation. But he also conceded such a warning might not be enough. "I have President Putin".

Asked at the start of a Cabinet meeting whether Russian Federation is still targeting the U.S., Trump shook his head and said "no".

The news comes after National Intelligence Director Dan Coats warned that cyberthreats from the Kremlin are "blinking red".

His behaviour sparked an uproar, with senior Republicans, members of the intelligence community and even Barack Obama declaring themselves appalled by his performance.

"We believe the threat still exists, which is why we are taking steps to prevent it", the White House spokeswoman said, AFP reported.

Democrats say the woman who translated for President Trump - and the notes she took during the meeting - could provide critical information about what transpired.

When pressed in his Wednesday interview on whether his acceptance of the USA intelligence analysis meant that he thought Putin lied when denying any Russian involvement, Trump said he "didn't want to get into whether or not he's lying".

"We wouldn't actually spend as much time and effort as we are if we didn't believe that [Russia is] still looking at us", she said.

"Well, I mean, I guess it's probably the best that we're going to be able to get, right?"

Sanders denied that was what the White House was doing.

TRUMP: "Yeah and I've said that before, Jeff". What do you make of that claim?

"The sentence should have been: "I don't see any reason why I wouldn't" or "why it wouldn't be Russia".

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