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President Donald Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsinki that he doesn't see why Russian Federation would have interfered in the 2016 USA elections.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he accepts the conclusion by USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the US presidential election, marking a rare reversal from comments just a day earlier.

Signalling Republicans' own efforts at damage control in the wake of Trump's Helsinki performance, McConnell said there might be a vote on a bill sponsored by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, that would create punishments if Russian Federation interferes in the 2018 midterm elections.

"And now, the Rigged Witch Hunt": On July 13 the Justice Department unsealed its indictments of 12 Russian military-intelligence officers, charging them with conspiring to hack the computers of USA entities and persons, steal documents, and release them with the aim of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.

An understandable mix-up, Trump insisted, caused by his having said onstage next to Vladimir Putin that he did not see any reason why it WOULD be Russian Federation who had tampered in the USA election, when he had meant to say he did not see any reason why it "WOULDN'T be Russian Federation".

Trump said Tuesday back at the White House that he meant to say that he didn't see any reason why Russian Federation "wouldn't" interfere. All are nervously watching Twitter to see if the President attempts further cleanup beyond his tweet after the event Monday when he said he has "GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people".

Six Democrats sent a letter to Trump on Tuesday saying Americans "have a right to know" what the two leaders discussed during their closed-door meeting on Monday in Helsinki, Finland. "The president's statements today in Helsinki demonstrate his continued refusal to accept the unanimous conclusions of USA intelligence leaders and the bipartisan findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee", Collins said in a statement.

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In Helsinki, Putin said he had indeed wanted Trump to win the election - a revelation that might have made more headlines if not for Trump's performance - but had taken no action to make it happen. "I always have", Trump said, re-writing history.

Even so, he added that the meddling in the 2016 election "could be other people also".

"President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin", McCain continued.

Members of Congress, including several powerful Republicans, distanced themselves from Trump's remarks and aligned themselves with United States intelligence estimates that Russian Federation had interfered in the election. As presidential candidates, Paul questioned the "sophomoric quality" of Trump's temperament, comparing his tendency to attack people's looks and character to what "happened in junior high", and questioning whether that made him unfit to be commander in chief.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from the White House, said Trump "was sticking to the script" in his comments on Tuesday - a rare occurrence.

Mr. Trump spoke to reporters as he met with a group of GOP lawmakers at the White House.

"You know, Russian Federation and the United States control 90% of the nuclear weapons in the world and getting along with Russian Federation - and not only for that reason - it's a good thing, not a bad thing", he said.


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