US President Trump attacks Russia, says they might have meddled in 2016 elections

Russia orders embassy to cut staff, seizes two properties in retaliation against US sanctions

US President Donald Trump has publicly acknowledged that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 Presidential Elections, just a day after he denied any such action at his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The meeting on 16 July in Helsinki disappointed several Americans as Trump declined to denounce Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections. In fact, it appeared that Trump was trying to cosy up to Putin, so much so that he tweeted after the summit that it was "better than the NATO summit."

This forced top Republicans to distance themselves from the President, forcing Trump to backtrack. However, the US President couldn't avoid controversy as he cast doubts over the indictment of 12 Russian officers.

Speaking at the Roosevelt room to reporters, Trump said: "Let me be totally clear in saying that ... I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," reading out a rehearsed statement. He then went off the cards, adding: "It could be other people also. There's a lot of people out there."

After the meeting in Helsinki, the duo held a press conference where Trump tried his best to steer away from any mention of the indictment. However, the US president was forced to address the issue stating: "I don't see any reason why it would be Russia."

Back on US soil, he clarified his statement and even asked for the transcript to be edited to read, "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia."

The chaos around Russia continued to make headlines, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying: "They did interfere in our elections. It's really clear. They should be no doubt about that. Russia is trying to undermine democracy itself."

During the summit, Trump went out of his way to defend his Russian counterpart, something he has strongly been doing since he assumed office.

Related topics : Us presidential election