Trump and his aides have sought to calm the storm of criticism over the president's meetings overseas over the past week in which he sharply criticized European allies and declined to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin over Moscow's meddling in the 2016 election.
Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said on Twitter that there is a "BIG discrepancy" between Trump's statement and warning by Coats. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match.
Which brings me to Trump's Wednesday tweet.
"Since there's now not an election today, not specifically, but we certainly believe that we are taking steps to make sure they can't do it again", she initially said, before adding: "We believe that the threat still exists which is why we are taking steps to prevent it".
"The president has been extremely tough on Russian Federation and to say anything different is just not true", Sanders said, while also noting that the president "sees this as an opportunity to work with Russian Federation".
At that Helsinki press conference after his meeting with Putin on Monday, Trump was asked whether he had confronted Putin about Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
"Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting", Trump wrote.
"Just because the Soviet Union broke apart, doesn't mean they stopped being our enemy", she said of Russian Federation. Many positive things will come out of that meeting. "In the future, would any notes even be allowed to be taken if we started doing this kind of thing?" There is no rush, the sanctions remain! After a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this month, North Korean officials described the US stance during the talks as regrettable, gangster-like and cancerous.
Handel, Isakson react to Trump Russia comments at summit
Putin said the US leader's stance on Crimea was "well-known" and said Trump "continues to maintain that it was illegal to annex it".
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But Democrats weren't as quick to let him off the hook. As Putin looked on beside him, Trump said, "I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russian Federation. We can see it was very painful for them to do so".
One such opportunity is what Trump termed an "incredible offer" from Putin to allow the US access to Russians accused of election hacking and other interference. The White House later said he was saying "no" to answering questions.
Trump's supporters have criticized him for not denouncing Russia Brit Hume, an analyst with Fox News (a network known for their Trump-friendly coverage) called Trump's answer "lame".
"Also, the rest of us less intelligent people in America thought your performance in Helsinki was disgraceful", Lieu said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later Wednesday that Trump actually was saying "no" to answering additional questions - although he subsequently went on to address Russian Federation.
Mr Trump told the world Mr Putin had been "strong and powerful in his denials" of Russian interference on the 2016 United States elections, and insisted: "All I can do is ask the question".
Because Trump can never really admit fault, and even when he does it's because he misspoke rather than any sort of broader misstatement or misunderstanding, he retreats to the age-old defense: "You just didn't get it!"
The biggest controversy centered on his statement that he doesn't "see any reason why" Russian Federation would be behind election meddling.
While Trump on Wednesday characterized his gathering with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders last week as an "acknowledged triumph", several USA allies were rattled by his performance at the summit. The president also criticized Germany for a natural gas pipeline deal with Russian Federation, saying it made the country "captive" to Russian Federation.