President Donald Trump has said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States will not tolerate election interference in the future.
President Trump said in an interview with CBS News: “I let him know we can’t have this. We’re not going to have it and that’s the way it’s going to be.”
The interview comes after President Trump’s meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki on Monday and his shifting statements on whether he agrees with the findings of US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
The president said on Tuesday that he accepted the US intelligence community’s conclusion that the meddling took place.
Asked if he holds President Putin personally responsible, President Trump told CBS, “I would, because he’s in charge of the country.”
Trump previously backed away from his public undermining of American intelligence agencies after he was blistered by bipartisan condemnation in the US.
The president said he simply misspoke when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 election that put him in the White House.
Rebuked as never before by his own party, including a stern push-back from usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the US president sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error.
“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia'” instead of “why it would,” Mr Trump said.
That did not explain why Mr Trump, who had tweeted a half a dozen times and sat for two television interviews since the Putin news conference, waited so long to correct his remarks.