US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen yesterday said the United States needed to be prepared for an attempt by Russian Federation to interfere in elections in all 50 US states this year, adding that there was no question Moscow interfered in the 2016 US presidential contest.
"It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it", Sanders said.
Trump also injected some uncertainty into his walk-back by tacking a qualifier on to his statement that he accepts the intelligence community's conclusion that Russian meddling in the 2016 election took place.
"He's not in Putin's pocket", she added.
By the time he arrived home, the parade of critical statements had become a stampede, leaving Trump the most isolated he'd been in the White House since last year's controversy over white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville. "We are ready for discussions on this subject".
Trump was nonetheless unfazed by the backlash, deeming the summit as a "great success" in a tweet earlier on Thursday while saying he looked forward to a second meeting with Putin.
When is Putin visiting Trump in USA?He gave no details. The secretary's denial came a day after Sanders, the White House press secretary, indicated that no final decision had been made.
In a stark example of the gulf between Trump and his own advisers on Russia, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was caught by surprise at the news that Trump had invited Putin to Washington.
What’s inside Egypt’s mysterious sarcophagus? So far, no curse
But according to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities , the three skeletons found inside are probably those of warriors. At nearly 6.5 feet high and 10 feet long, the structure is the largest of its kind ever found intact, the BBC reports.
On Thursday, after an outcry in Congress, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders issued a statement that Trump "disagrees" with Putin's proposal to have Russian officials question Americans suspected of illegal activity by Moscow, including a former US ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul. She did not say whether the next summit would be before or after the midterm elections in November.
As American officials groped for information about the meeting, Moscow offered snippets of its version on Friday.
More: Why is Trump open to letting Russian Federation interrogate Americans, including former USA ambassador McFaul?
And Coats was blindsided by the White House announcement Thursday that Putin had been invited to Washington this fall. He did not spell out what they were.
He said he still doesn't know what Trump discussed with Putin during the leaders' one-on-one meeting in Helsinki.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called his first summit with President Donald Trump a success - but warned Thursday that Trump's opponents in the US are hampering any progress on what they discussed, such as limiting their nuclear arsenals or ending the Syrian war. The official did not specify if that meant Russia's interference in USA elections.
"President Trump was very clear we're not going to force Americans to go to Russia to be interrogated by the Russians", he said.
Trump tweeted Thursday that his critics in the media "are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I'll probably have a good relationship with Putin". "What should we do?" Now that he's the country's top intelligence official, Coats said he prefers to stay out of the headlines.