'Cheap Shot' Trump Criticisms Meant to 'Undermine' Him, Bossert Says

US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats answers questions during a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee

US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats answers questions during a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee

Schumer also noted that the two world leaders met for nearly two hours and the absence of notes or readouts and said, "You can't assume anything - but that as weak as he was in public before President Putin, he was even worse in private".

Speaking to Howard Kurtz on Fox News' "Media Buzz" on Sunday, Spicer said that Trump had admitted to fumbling his words when he appeared to side with Putin and cast doubts on US intelligence conclusions about Russian meddling, but added that Trump in the past had spoken very clearly about Russian hacking. Among Democrats, 78 percent disapprove of what Trump said about USA intelligence findings, as do 59 percent of independents. Trump appeared to accept what he called Putin's "strong" and "powerful" denials of Russian government election interference over the conclusions of every US intelligence agency. He had no note takers that were there that could summarize what they talked about.

Rubio, who ran against Trump in the Republican presidential primary in 2016 but exited after losing the Florida primary, said he would never stand with Putin.

Asked about Trump's deference to Putin, Dick Hoffman added, "It didn't bother me a bit". Podesta's emails, they hacked into the DNC, it could be us next.

President Trump's approval rating inched up from last month to the highest of his presidency, but American voters give him low marks for his handling of Russian Federation and the immigration crisis at the southern border, a poll released Sunday shows. He walked back that statement a day later, saying he'd meant to say he didn't see why Russian Federation wouldn't be involved. "We need to move forward from that with good public policy, and part of that is, I think, standing with our intelligence community".

"Who do you believe?", Lemire had asked, referring to Trump's well established disbelief in the USA intelligence community's ironclad conclusions about Russia's efforts to subvert America's democracy. "I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be".

"I think it's imperative that he understand that he's misjudging Putin", Mr Graham told reporters.

"I can tell you this, Brett, the president has access to every bit of evidence", Gowdy explained. "Not only that, but I believe they'll do so again in the future", he added. "I know it's hard", Graham said.

Mr Coats has been under scrutiny since he said he wished Mr Trump had not met one-on-one with the Russian leader and expressed dismay that the president had publicly undermined United States intelligence agencies. The critics include Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan who said, " There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world".

But another USA official called those accusations unfair and said Coats would never try to undercut or embarrass the president. "Why would we tolerate that of Russian Federation?" "He's reaching out to other leaders saying "Here's what we decided" and we're hearing crickets from the White House".