The Story Behind TIME's Trump and Putin 'Summit Crisis' Cover

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Trump's public doubting of Russia's responsibility in a joint news conference with Putin on Monday provoked withering criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike and forced the president to make a rare public admission of error.

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.

Trump said Wednesday he told the Russian president face-to-face during the summit to stay out of America's elections "and that's the way it's going to be". He tried to explain it by saying that Dan Coats, his director of national intelligence, said that "they think it's Russia" but then Trump said "I have President Putin".

"We will see how things develop further", Mr Putin said, evoking unnamed "forces" in the United States trying to prevent any improvement in relations and "putting narrow party interests above the national interest".

Clapper has frequently criticized Trump's behavior toward Russian Federation, including in his news conference Monday with Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

Speaking in Moscow, Putin also called the summit "successful overall" and claimed that it led to "some useful agreements", without being specific.

"We will see how things develop further", the strongman added in his first comments about the summit, expressing worries about unnamed United States "forces" trying to prevent better ties and "putting narrow party interests above the national interest".

"What struck me and others as quite unusual was before we left the room, they started writing a press release about our encounter and were trying to say that the Russian meddling - the Russian interference had no impact on the election", Clapper said Thursday. I have said that numerous times before.

More news: United States stocks skid as trade war worsens with new tariff threats

The White House earlier said it would consider it but now says Mr Trump "disagrees" with the suggestion.

Hours later, the White House stepped in to say Trump's answer wasn't what it appeared.

Clapper hit back Thursday: "I think the feeling is mutual".

I am introducing a resolution at 11:20 AM on the Senate floor to demand that the President of the United States represent the interests of the American people and not Russian Federation.

Putin said he saw attempts in the United States to downplay the results of the summit in Helsinki on Monday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is scheduled to meet with Mr Trump at the White House next Wednesday to discuss trade and other issues. But he says Trump "is not making the problem better".

He added that USA legal restrictions imposed in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 provide no room for military-to-military coordination or collaboration with Russian Federation.

Current U.S. law prohibits coordination and collaboration with the Russian military, as stipulated in the National Defense Authorization Act following Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula.

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