Donald Trump tells reporters he accepts Putin's denial on election meddling

The two leaders had several informal meetings at the conference in Vietnam

Donald Trump backtracks on Putin comments, says he agrees Russia meddled in election

U.S. President Donald Trump said he is "with" intelligence agencies in their finding that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

"Look, I can't stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria", Trump said.

Trump's friendly posture towards Russian Federation has alarmed national-security experts, and it prompted former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to warn on Sunday that the belief that Russia's interests run parallel to the US' was a national security risk.

"We have to get to work to solve Syria, to solve North Korea, to solve Ukraine, to solve terrorism", Trump said, according to The Hill.

"I really believe that, when he tells me that, he means it", Trump told reporters.

Pat Toomey on Sunday called Russian President Vladimir Putin "a risky man and a thug" and said Russia has not been adequately punished for its attempts to meddle in last year's presidential election.

The president added that when they had met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Putin meant it when he denied ordering Russia's election meddling.

Brennan said he considered Trump's attack on them as an attempt to undermine the credibility of that intelligence community report, which the former CIA director noted was written by intelligence and law enforcement officers, not himself, Clapper or Comey. But President Trump's Asian tour rendered their grim assessment a statement of the obvious.

In Hanoi on Sunday, Trump pointed to sanctions the USA has imposed on Russian Federation as punishment for election meddling. I believe that he feels that he and Russian Federation did not meddle in the election.

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"I don't know why the ambiguity about this", Brennan said Sunday.

Brennan said Trump's ambiguity on Russia's involvement was "very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint".

"I believe that he feels that he and Russian Federation did not meddle in the election", Trump said. "Putin is committed to undermining our system, our democracy and our whole process".

"To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding and, in fact, poses a peril to this country", Clapper said on "State of the Union".

Clapper, a CNN analyst, was responding to Trump's mixed comments about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mnuchin said Trump wants to focus on thorny issues posed by North Korea and Syria and is trying to get Russian Federation on board with the US strategy.

Asked about the investigations into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia, Brennan would only say that he had spoken to investigators. "I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country".

Trump walked his comments back on Sunday after they drew heavy backlash from lawmakers and former United States intelligence officials, who said it was "naive" and "puzzling" for Trump to trust Putin over the USA intelligence community.

The intelligence community released an unclassified version of its assessment in January, saying Putin ordered the election meddling to hurt Hillary Clinton's candidacy and bolster Trump's successful bid.

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