"I think even President George W. Bush's meeting, where he had that famous quote about looking into Putin's eyes and seeing into his soul - this summit dwarfs that by a factor of a thousand".
"I said the word "would" instead of "wouldn't" and the sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.' Sort of a double-negative", Trump said.
However, the average approval rating for Trump's treatment remained low, at 42 percent of registered voters.
The fallout from President Donald Trump's comments disputing the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election is ricocheting across the country among some of the most competitive U.S. Senate races that could decide which party will control the chamber next year.
The National Security Council would not confirm what Trump had agreed to in the one-on-one with Putin. "I take a back seat on no one on pressing this administration for some of the worst things that I've seen happen in public as it relates to our country".
Trump also accused past American leaders, rather than Russia's destabilizing actions in the US and around the world, for the souring of relations between two countries.
Republicans and Democrats accused him of siding with an adversary rather than his own country. "And in 27 hours, that's the best you could come up with?"
Meanwhile, Coats responded to Trump's statement by issuing his own, in which he reiterated the consensus among United States intelligence agencies over Russia's intervention in the 2016 election, and argued that the U.S. intelligence offers "objective and untarnished" reports with the goal of protecting American national security.
And he again floated the idea that "other people" could be involved. "Lots of other people out there".
His backtracking failed to quell the controversy.
In Tennessee, GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a strong Trump supporter who seldom parts ways with the president, issued a statement condemning Russia's actions - but steered clear of any direct critique of the president. "That was unusual. But that's OK", he said, returning to his statement.
"Getting along with Russian Federation, and not only for that reason, is a good thing, not a bad thing", Trump said.
One challenge for a potential bill could be finding time to pass it on the Senate floor, as McConnell tries to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks.
"President Trump tried to squirm away from what he said yesterday".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that Russian Federation was not a friend of the United States and warned against a repeat of election meddling in November's congressional elections.
"We're doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018", the president said.
"We just conducted a year-long investigation into Russia's interference in our elections".
"... Russian Federation has agreed to help with North Korea, where relationships with us are very good and the process is moving along", Trump wrote. Behind the scenes, USA and British officials have been coordinating efforts to track and respond to Russian aggression.
Even before the allegations of Russian meddling, tensions were high over Moscow's concerns about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expansion, Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and its military backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war. Though the exact numbers are disputed, the number of Russians killed during WWII is roughly half of what Trump claimed, and Russia and America were fighting on different fronts.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker also tweeted that "it is time for Congress to step up and take back our authorities".
While past presidents have had hard foreign trips and been criticized for their summits with Soviet leaders, Trump's behavior has few parallels, in the view of presidential historians and longtime Russian Federation watchers.
Pompeo will testify before the committee in open session on July 25, reported the Hill.
"We've never had a president go overseas and not only lecture to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, but also to embarrass them", said Russian Federation expert William Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center.