Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan say Vladimir Putin won’t be welcome in Congress

US senators to introduce tougher Russia sanctions bill

Russia's President Vladimir Putin gestures during a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.

The White House last week said Trump had invited Putin to Washington for a meeting in the fall, a move that was criticised by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

The expression of concern about Russian meddling is a change in tone for the president, who has repeatedly expressed doubts about Russia's role in interfering in the 2016 US election.

Before the Helsinki summit, Russian state TV expressed unease about the idea of Putin and Trump meeting in Washington, recalling how the US leader had humiliated other foreign leaders, such as French President Emmanuel Macron, on home soil, something he would find harder to do on neutral ground.

"That's something we reserve for allies", House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said earlier Tuesday.

Trump has repeatedly called Mueller's probe into meddling in the 2016 election a "witch hunt", a claim that he repeated in a tweet the same day he met with Putin in Helsinki.

In the interview, Pompeo acknowledged that he was not in the room when Trump and Putin met for almost two hours in Helsinki.

If one listens closely, it's possible to tell that the video feed in the White House version goes from the translator who says "president" before a delayed switch to Mason's question.

Trump appeared to back Putin's denials of any role in the effort during their meeting before reneging on his comments after he returned to Washington.

It is a rare admission by the United States president of Russia's continued attempts to sway American elections.

Eight days after the Helsinki summit, the backlash on US President Donald Trump is now felt on his approval numbers and leadership approach, according to a latest poll by Quinnipiac University.

For Maddow, this was a clear case of Trump rewriting history to bury an inconvenient reminder that Putin was rooting for him in the election.

Obviously there's no reason for the Russian government to want Republicans to lose power in the midterms - after all, they have a close ally in the president, and Congress at this point is little more than a rubber stamp for his agenda.

A Reuters reporter had asked Putin, "Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?"

For months, Trump's legal team has been trying to pressure Mueller into concluding his investigation, which has gone on for more than a year. Pompeo told senators that US sanctions imposed in response to the annexation would remain in place until and unless Russian Federation returns Crimea to Ukrainian sovereignty.

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