There is a plethora of evidence in the public record that suggests the "conscious tool" assessment of Donald Trump is reasonable; the evidence is not absolutely conclusive, but it does strongly suggest that the president has been compromised and is in some way controlled by the Russian government. "I don't see any reason why it would be".
"There are a lot of us who fully understand what happened in 2016 and it really better not happen again in 2018", McConnell said.
The White House did not seek to clarify that remark.
"Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalisation of Russian-US ties", Putin said.
Former House speaker and longtime Trump ally Newt Gingrich put it yet more bluntly.
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Some on social media thought First Lady Melania Trump looked "horrified" after shaking hands with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the July 16 summit in Finland. "It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected - immediately".
Schumer also called for the immediate passage of legislation to enhance election security, and reiterated calls for the Senate to hold immediate hearings to get testimony from Trump's national security team about what transpired during the private Trump-Putin meeting "so we can find out what the heck happened there".
And he voiced support for USA intelligence agencies - a day after he had refused to accept their findings on Russia's election interference over Putin's denials - and vowed to take action to prevent further attacks.
After this absurd, super illogical, seemingly untruthful explanation for why Trump supported Russian Federation and said there was no collusion, Twitter users called his bluff and furiously trolled him with grammar jokes.
Trump returns from summit with Putin to forceful criticism
At a joint appearance in Finland with Vladimir Putin , Trump repeated the Russian leader's denials about involvement in the election.
"I'm just saying Trump knows and that's why he's so desperate to stop the Mueller investigation", Mr. Brennan said, "Because clearly he's concerned and, I think, fearful about what might be exposed in that investigation".
Today's clarification from Mr Trump comes amid an ongoing investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.
Several senators, including Republican Ben Sasse, Republican Pat Toomey, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel, have backed more sanctions on Russian Federation, but it was unclear whether Senate or House of Representatives leaders would support such a move or how new sanctions might be crafted.
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has given a series of interviews supporting Trump's stance towards Putin, and berating his critics as biased against the president.
It was an attempt at clarification that came after uproarious anger at Trump's performance in Helsinki.
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We had to find some resilience, we had to go down to an early goal and find resolve again. Petersburg, starts at 5 p.m. local time , or 10 a.m.
But the bipartisan consensus has been broadly hostile to Trump's stance - as the top Republican in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan made clear once more at a press conference Tuesday on Capitol Hill. "We stand by our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and all those countries who are facing Russian aggression", Mr. Ryan said.