On Tuesday, the president appeared to walk back the questionable comments he made at the summit where he appeared to believe Putin's word over the assessment from US intelligence agencies that the Russian government meddled in the USA election.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he misspoke a day earlier when he didn't back up the United States intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 USA presidential election.
During Monday's news conference, Trump said, "I don't see any reason why it would be" Russian Federation who interfered in the election.
Before a meeting with GOP lawmakers on Tuesday, Trump told reporters that he misspoke in Helsinki and that when he said he saw no reason why it "would" be Russian Federation that interfered, he meant to say he saw no reason why it "wouldn't".
On Tuesday, Trump said he misspoke and instead meant to say he didn't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation.
He also said that he and Putin had talked about a wide range of issues such as Syria, Iran, Israel, and the reduction of nuclear weapons throughout the world. "I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself".
In a GOP that is still largely hawkish, Trump, who has questioned the value of traditional alliances, and Paul, whom McCain once accused of "working for Vladimir Putin" for opposing Montenegro's bid to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, often embrace similarly noninterventionist worldviews.
Analyst Pavel Felgengauer suggested the meeting may have paved the way for a bargain that would see the U.S. increasing pressure on Iran, and Russian Federation ramping up its influence over Ukraine.
Other lawmakers have suggested passing resolutions voicing support for intelligence agencies, or spending more to enhance election security and prevent cyber attacks. President Putin is going to be involved in the sense that he is with us.
Mr. Trump said he misspoke at a joint press conference Monday with Mr. Putin when he said he "didn't know why it would be" Russian Federation that hacked the election.
But some of Trump's closest advisers, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, held a different view, according to Bloomberg. Interesting as the intrigue of spies, indictments and potential collusion might be for Washington insiders and The New York Times, it has little relevance for rusted on Trump voters in middle America.
On Sunday, the Republican senator followed the calls of several top Democrats and tweeted that the President should not be "dignifying Putin with the meeting". This week, Paul announced in an op-ed in Politico that he would soon be making a trip to Russian Federation to "discuss common ground with their leaders" - and would be consulting with the president before going. He defended Trump's skepticism to CBS News Tuesday citing the president's experience on the receiving end of "partisan investigations".
"Everything is remaining. We're not lifting sanctions", Trump said. But Ryan was bombarded with questions about Trump's Helsinki performance, whether it damaged American interests and whether Congress would do anything beyond expressing regret.
Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from the White House, said Trump "was sticking to the script" in his comments on Tuesday - a rare occurrence.