US security chief scrambles to save his job after Trump-Putin crack

MEP and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet

That happened following Trump and Putin's Finland meeting this week, when Coats had to reiterate the USA intelligence position on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

She criticized President Donald Trump's decision to meet privately with Putin earlier this week in Helsinki.

"The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation, '" he said.

Two letters got Donald Trump in trouble again later in the week.

This time the letters were "n" and "o".

Asked by reporters if he believed Russian Federation was still trying to interfere in United States elections, President Trump was heard to say "no". That contradicted the views of U.S. intelligence agencies so more clarifications had to follow. The Kremlin had said in April that the president had invited the Russian leader to the White House when they spoke by telephone in March. Trump's public doubting of Russia's responsibility in a joint news conference with Putin on Monday provoked withering criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats and forced the president to make a rare public admission of error.

Trump also said he misspoke in Helsinki.

Speaking at Ozy Fest, a festival in New York City, Clinton called Russian interference in the 2016 election "a direct attack on our democracy", and said, "the great mystery is why the President has not spoken up for our country".

After he issued his clarifying statement the following day, reporters asked President Trump if he would take this opportunity to criticise the Russian president. He did not do so.

Trump waited 27 hours, sent five tweets and sat for two television interviews after his initial comments in Helsinki before claiming he'd used a confusing "double negative" and meant "would" instead of "wouldn't" in a key sentence at his press conference about who was responsible for election meddling.

Commenting on the meeting, Mr Coats said: "I don't know what happened in that meeting". (They told him afterwards that any journalist would have asked the same question at that point in the press conference.) Over the next few days, Trump then attempted a stunningly bad walk back, called the media the "real enemy" of the American people, and came up with some creative ways to double down and deliberately extend the whole mess. Trump was initially warm to the proposal, proposed by Vladimir Putin, calling it "an incredible offer".

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While they had met privately on three occasions in 2017, Trump opened the door to a potential White House meeting with Putin earlier this year.

"We don't know what was said in the room between them", she said.

As for Putin's offer on investigations, Sanders it was "made in sincerity" and the USA hopes he will have the indicted Russians "come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt".

The prospect sparked uproar, with U.S. senators voting to block the move.

The White House backtrack came just before the Senate voted overwhelmingly against the proposal.

"Putin is telling the world what was said but we hear crickets from the White House".

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says his Thursday comments at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado were not meant to be critical of the president's handling of the summit. "That's going to be special".

It has been one of the most controversial weeks of Donald Trump's presidency but has it damaged his popularity?

According to recent polls, a high percentage of Americans were unhappy with the Russian Federation summit but among Republican voters, the majority were pleased with how the meeting went.

So right now it looks like a controversy blamed on an apostrophe won't be putting a full stop to President Trump's re-election hopes.

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