"I said would instead of wouldn't" - Trump says he misspoke during press conference with Putin

It comes after a number of senior Republicans criticised the President over his remarks

"I said would instead of wouldn't" - Trump says he misspoke during press conference with Putin

Picture by: Andrew Harnik/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 20:10

Donald Trump has moved to clarify remarks he made during his press conference with Vladimir Putin yesterday, suggesting he misspoke.

The US President provoked controversy following his summit in Helsinki with the Russian leader yesterday, including from Republicans.

While saying he had "great confidence in my intelligence people", he also suggested President Putin was "extremely strong and powerful" in his denial of Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

He is meeting with members of Congress at the White House today amid the controversy.

Addressing reporters, President Trump also moved to clarify his remarks - insisting he never meant to say he didn't see any reason why Russia would meddle in the election.

He said: "Let me be totally clear in saying that I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russian meddling in the 2016 election took place - could be other people also, there's a lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all."

He added: "I realise that there is a need for some clarification. It should have been obvious - I thought it would be obvious - but I would like to clarify... in a key sentence in my remarks I said would instead of wouldn't".

"The sentence should have been 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia'".

Picture by: Lehtikuva/Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

'Disgraceful performance'

US commentators swiftly criticised President Trump yesterday for casting doubt over US intelligence agencies.

While Democrats quickly slammed Trump's remarks, Republican Senator John McCain and Trump ally Newt Gingrich were also among those who sharply criticised the US leader.

In a tweet earlier today, Donald Trump defended the meeting, saying: "While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia.

"Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going Crazy!"

"Russia is a menacing government"

House Speaker Paul Ryan - the Republican leader in the House of Congress - also commented on the Helsinki summit.

Without directly rebuking President Trump, he said it needs to be made 'very clear' that Russia has a 'menacing government'.

He said: "We stand by our NATO allies, and all those countries who are facing Russian aggression.

"Vladimir Putin does not share our interests. Vladimir Putin does not share our values."

He suggested it's "really clear" that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, but claimed it "didn't have a material effect" on the result.

He added: "I understand the desire and need to have good relations - that's perfectly reasonable. But Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests, and does not share our values - and that should be made very, very clear."