Trump's intelligence chief Dan Coats goes in on Russian interference

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Republicans and Democrats in Congress are seeking answers on what agreements Trump may have reached with Putin in their two-hour meeting on Monday in which they were accompanied only by their interpreters.

In a later briefing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted that Trump's "no" actually meant he was not taking any more questions from reporters.

Mr. Trump, asked by "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor on Saturday whether he agrees with Coats' assessment of the risks of a cyber attack, said he didn't know if he did and would have to review that assessment.

Asked by a different reporter in the audience to clarify whether he was aware of the White House's invitation to Putin to Washington this fall, Coats said frankly, "I think based on my reaction I wasn't aware of that".

He laughed and said: "That's going to be special".

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Trump brought up Coats by name at his Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin, then sided with Putin's claim that he didn't interfere in the elections. Wednesday night, Trump had continued to walk back his presser announcement he was taking Putin at his word that he had not meddled in the US 2016 election.

"That sound you hear is the head of the USA executive branch stabbing his intelligence agencies in the back in order to side, against all evidence, alongside the leader of a country that meddled in an American election and wants to do it again", the Daily News' editorial board wrote about Trump's comments.

He said: "I don't see any reason why it would be".

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, earlier this week.

USA intelligence officials have said Russian election interference efforts are continuing and now target the upcoming congressional elections in November.

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Trump on Tuesday said he misspoke during the news conference.

But after facing a slew of criticism from both sides of the aisle, the White House on Thursday reversed course and said Trump "disagrees" with Putin's "sincere" offer.

To represent that moment, visual artist Nancy Burson merged the faces of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin into a still image. "I was just saying to myself the other day, you know, Russian Federation really helped us".

The US citizens Russia would like to question are related to Moscow's case against the financier Bill Browder, a fierce Putin critic who was instrumental in the US imposing sanctions in 2012 on top Russian officials accused of corruption.

Mr Putin has also described the summit as "successful" but warned "there are forces in the United States that are prepared to casually sacrifice Russian-US relations".

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Russian Federation was also seeking to interview Michael McFaul, another Putin critic who was United States ambassador to Moscow under President Obama.

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