Trump's Asia trip ends as it begins: shadowed by Russian Federation

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

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Brennan and Clapper, who both served in the Obama administration, were referring to Trump's comments on Saturday where he said he believed Putin's claim that Russian Federation didn't meddle in the 2016 presidential election. I asked him again.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said world leaders know how to work Trump: flatter him with red carpets, honor guards and the "trappings" of pomp and circumstance.

"As to whether I believe it, I'm with our agencies".

But on Sunday, Trump walked back on his initial language, saying, "I believe [Putin] believes that, and that's very important for somebody to believe".

"I believe that he feels that he and Russian Federation did not meddle in the election", Trump said of Putin at a news conference in Hanoi with Vietnam's president.

"Here you have the president of the United States meeting with a foreign adversary basically saying, 'I not only accept Mr. Putin at his word, but it's insulting to Mr. Putin to raise these things, '" the California Democrat told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" program.

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RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said the station would register, since otherwise its American director could be arrested and its accounts frozen.

"Trump also took to Twitter to discuss his meeting with Putin, addressing "haters" and fools" he said fail to see the value of a positive relationship with Russian Federation.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump called former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper "political hacks" on Saturday for disagreeing with his friendly stance toward Russian Federation. But President Trump's Asian tour rendered their grim assessment a statement of the obvious.

But he again stopped short of stating explicitly that Russian Federation was behind the interference in the 2016 presidential election, which U.S. intelligence has determined was conducted to help Trump. "He said he didn't meddle, he said he didn't meddle".

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

Trump also took a swipe at Obama-era intelligence officials Brennan, Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey, calling them "political hacks" and questioning the findings of a US intelligence report that concluded that Russians sought to tilt the election in Trump's favor.

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"As to whether I believe it, I'm with our agencies", Trump said. "Putin is committed to undermining our system, our democracy and our whole process".

Trump on Saturday also dismissed former officials like Clapper, Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey as "political hacks".

"And also I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do or what might come out as a result of these investigations", Brennan said.

Trump, who had emphasized on the 2016 campaign trail that it would be nice if the United States and Russian Federation could work together, made this case again on Saturday.

But Trump's continued willingness to build closer ties with Russian Federation - especially as Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigates any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the election - is peculiar at best.

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