The remarks came amid the rain of domestic criticism over his performance in his first meeting with Putin in Helsinki, and Russia's request to question American citizens including former United States ambassador Michael McFaul.
The White House was once again sent into clean-up mode Wednesday when Trump said "no" when a reporter asked him if Russian Federation was still targeting the United States.
Russian politicians also criticized proposals by US lawmakers to question Trump's interpreter from the Helsinki summit about what topics the men discussed privately.
Butina's arrest Sunday added to the political turmoil in Washington over Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and allegations that President Donald Trump's campaign collaborated with the Russians. That seemed to be the case on Thursday, when Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats seemed to get more info on what's happening from the media than the people at 1600 Pennsylvania. Putin has denied such interference.
In a sharp rebuke to the White House, the resolution passed with unanimous support from both parties, 98-0.
Asked whether he would extradite 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted in the United States last week for hacking Democratic Party computers, he said he could meet the U.S. government "halfway". On Wednesday, Trump answered "no" to a reporter's question on whether Russian Federation was still targeting the United States, only to have Sanders say later he was saying "no" to answering any questions - not to the question itself.
White House staffers are bracing for the president's reaction to Coats' performance, according to the Washington Post.
"That the president would even entertain the idea of subjecting our diplomats to Putin's thuggery - that is an abuse of power", he said. "Russia has agreed to help with North Korea, where relationships with us are very good and the process is moving along", he said.
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Trump initially called it an "incredible offer", but McFaul and others expressed outrage and the White House - just minutes before the Senate vote - made clear a deal with Putin was not in the cards.
He later said he had misspoken at the summit. "We talked about this of course while meeting President Trump". Trump also met with Putin past year in Germany and Vietnam.
Trump's comments in support of arch-rival Russian Federation were condemned by both Democrats and Republicans.
The scale of the bipartisan outcry at Trump's stance toward Putin has only been rivaled by his 2017 waffling over condemning white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia. "And that's the way it's going to be", Trump said.
When asked about the visit by NBC's Andrea Mitchell during the Aspen Security Forum, Coats - who was obviously unaware of the plan - said, "Say that again..."
"They are feeding millions of their people stories", he said.
At his joint news conference with Putin, Trump said they discussed Syria "at length" but was vague about the outcome.
Coats said US intelligence on North Korea was significantly better than it used to be, but that the USA should not assume it will happen and that "trust and verify" should be America's mantra.
"We need a new positive agenda, aimed at working together and finding common ground", he said.