Round 2 for Trump-Putin: A fall invite amid summit mop-up

Asked if Russia is still targeting the United States ahead of this year's congressional elections Trump said

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Earlier the White House denied that Trump said that Russian Federation was no longer targeting the USA, saying his answer "no" was about taking further questions not about potential interference in US elections.

While taking questions from reporters at a Cabinet meeting, Trump said, "Thank you very much, no," after Cecilia Vega, ABC News' White House correspondent, asked whether the USA was still a target of Russian-led cyberattacks and election meddling.

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.

Trump then went further than before.

Also, Trump no longer was speaking alongside Russia's President Vladimir Putin, but addressing reporters from the White House alongside Republican lawmakers.

The phrase also appeared on the front of The New York Times on Wednesday.

"There has never been a president as tough on Russian Federation", said Trump. Sanders added that Trump "said it was an interesting idea".

Vega said on Twitter that she thought the president was responding to her question, not ushering reporters out. Sanders was defending the credibility of the White House despite the apparent missteps in messaging.

The White House is highly likely to swat away the request and invoke executive privilege, arguing that no president is required to reveal private conversations and that an aide, such as a translator, should not be compelled to do so either.

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The American president claimed his Russian counterpart was "extremely strong and powerful in his denial" of any election meddling - even though Trump said he has "great confidence" in the USA intelligence community. "So when he sees that he has misspoken, he comes out and he says that".

Sanders protested at first, but eventually answered the question from Jackson.

The admission is the latest in a series of reversals in Mr Trump's assessment of Vladimir Putin and Russian meddling.

In the interview, President Trump said he agrees Russian Federation meddled in his victorious election and has said so "numerous times before".

President Donald Trump has said he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible for Russia's meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

"Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country".

The president's interactions with Putin have elicited sharp criticisms this week from Democrats and some Republicans. "The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.' Sort of a double negative", he added.

"And in that meeting, we discussed many, many things that were very, very positive for both countries", he said. "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".

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