Trump u-turns on Russia meddling: “I believe our intelligence agencies”
US President Donald Trump has been forced to clarify that he supports the conclusions of intelligence agencies in the country that there was meddling in last year's election by Russia.
Trump had drawn criticism after saying he believed a denial of any involvement made by Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Saturday.
Speaking again on Sunday, Trump said: "As to whether or not I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies. I believe in our… intelligence agencies."
Previously Trump had detailed informal talks between the two, and that Putin "said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did".
“I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it . . . I think he’s very insulted, if you want to know the truth,” Trump had told reporters travelling with him on Air Force One on a trip to Asia.
US senator John McCain issued a statement on Trump's original comments. He said: “There's nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community."
He added: "Vladimir Putin does not have America's interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”
Read more: Trump meeting with Putin? Not this time
Meanwhile Trump used Twitter to renew his feud with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
"Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old', when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen," he tweeted.