TIME cover morphs Donald Trump into Vladimir Putin

In Counter To Russian Influence US Gives $200 Million Aid To Ukraine

In Counter To Russian Influence US Gives $200 Million Aid To Ukraine

He said it would have been naive to expect that the Helsinki summit could have resolved problems that had built up over many years in the space of a few hours.

Trump called the remark a mistake on Tuesday, telling reporters that he meant to side with USA intelligence agencies, but the administration still faced questions over whether the president was sufficiently confronting Putin on issues of election interference and foreign policy.

The announcement of the invitation came as the White House sought to clean up days of confounding statements on Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the presidency.

The two major American political parties appear largely united in their desire to keep the Kremlin in check.

Trump and his aides appear to still be handling damage control in the face of criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers dismayed by the president's friendly demeanor toward Putin. Another poll, by Axios/Survey Monkey, showed Republican support at 79 percent - compared to 40 percent of respondents overall.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Russian ambassadors and representatives to worldwide organisations in Moscow, Russia, July 19, 2018.

Mr Trump flagged that he would have a second meeting with Mr Putin but did not give any details about when or where it would happen. She said the US hopes Putin will have the indicted Russians "come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt".

"We see that there are forces in the USA that are easily ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own ambitions", Putin said in a speech to Russian ambassadors gathered in Moscow. "We're not going to have it and that's the way it's going to be", he added.




But he stunned both allies and enemies by appearing to take the Russian leader's word over that of USA intelligence that Moscow did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Going into Monday's meeting in Helsinki, Trump said he wanted to improve relations with Russian Federation, which he characterized as being the worst they have ever been.

"In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't", Trump said. "I let him know we can't have this".

Trump said he had been "very strong on the fact that we can't have meddling, we can't have any of that".

In Moscow yesterday, Putin said Russian Federation was still open to building a good relationship with the United States.

"We need a new positive agenda, aimed at working together and finding common ground", he said.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter that Trump had asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Putin, adding, "Those discussions are already underway".

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