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>> At the end of the day, I am never gonna side with Vladimir Putin.>> Lawmakers in Congress continuing to push back hard against President Trump's bid for warmer ties with Russian president, Vladimir Putin. A bipartisan group rallying for a new round of tough sanctions against Moscow days after Trump invited Putin to Washington after a summit in Helsinki that drew scorn from Republicans as well as Democrats.
South Carolina senator, Lindsey Graham.>> Do not meet with this guy from position of weakness. We need to work with the congress to come up with new sanctions because Putin's not getting the message.>> Graham and Florida senator, Marco Rubio, among Republicans reaching across the isle for a tougher stand against Putin amid fears Moscow will try to interfere in this year's election.
Rubio and Democratic senator, Chris van Holland, drafting a bill automatically triggering new sanctions on Russia if US Intelligence decides Russia has meddled in US elections. As congress ups the pressure, Trump taking to Twitter to defend his performance in Helsinki. Tweeting on Monday, I gave up nothing. We get along very well, which is a good thing.
Outrage has been focused on Trump's conflicting statements on whether he accepts Russia interfered in the 2016 elections. On Sunday, Trump seemed to go back on his earlier explanation that he misspoke when he sided with Putin's denials of election meddling over his own intelligence services. In an apparent reference to the meddling charges, Trump tweeting, it is all a big hoax.
White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said Trump was actually referring to accusations that his campaign colluded with Russia.>> The President, again, would like to repeat that there was no collusion.>> Trump also once again railing against special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia probe. After FBI documents released Saturday, detailed the bureau's 2016 request for surveillance of Carter Page, Trump's former campaign advisor, who the bureau believed was coordinating with Russia.
Trump again claiming his campaign was spied on.>> They did not spy on the campaign from anything and everything that I have seen.>> Putin has denied Russia tried to influence the election, but US intelligence agencies have all concluded Putin aimed at boosting Trump in his run for the White House.