United States President Donald Trump has clarified his stand on his remarks over Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential elections and said, "I believe in our intel agencies."
According to The Hill, Trump had, on Saturday, told reporters on Air Force One that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin when he said he didn't meddle in the elections. He said, "Every time he sees me he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it."
After his Saturday remarks became a subject of backlash, Trump held a joint press conference with Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang on Sunday to clarify his stand.
"What I said is, I believe [Putin] believes that,"
"I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the elections. As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted, with their leadership. I believe in our intel agencies. I've worked with them very strongly," he added.
Earlier yesterday, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo stood by the US intelligence assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.
The CIA, in a statement, said that the "assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed."
Trump reiterated his claims that Russian interference in the US elections was a conspiracy invented by the Democrats to distract them from their electoral losses.
Trump held a brief meeting with Putin on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.
The president and his administration are facing multiple investigations focussing on Kremlin's role in the 2016 election meddling and whether members of his campaign possibly sought to collude with Russia.