Trump invites Putin to United States after bipartisan backlash over Helsinki summit

WATCH: DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen Says She Hasn’t Seen ‘Any Evidence’ Russian Interference Favored Trump

DHS Secretary Defends Violent White Supremacists in Charlottesville: 'It's Not That One Side Is Right'

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United States lawmakers, both from Democrats to Republicans, have blasted Trump for not backing the American intelligence community's claim that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election during his press conference with Putin in Helsinki.

Nielsen said she had not seen any evidence that Russian hackers' intentions were "to favor a particular political party".

President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed a possible referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit earlier this week, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday.

With the fallout from the Putin meeting matching or eclipsing previous controversies in Trump's turbulent 18-month presidency, critics of his performance in Helsinki included many fellow Republicans.

"Russia was absolutely attempting to interfere in our election systems", said Nielsen.

The remarks put him at odds with USA intelligence over claims of Russian interference in 2016 election. Trump appeared to answer "no" to a reporter's question asking whether Russian Federation was still targeting the U.S. Hours later, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders emerged to say Trump had merely tried to put a stop to the questioning by saying "no," although he continued discussing Russian Federation after that.

"We can actually permit official representatives of the United States. into the country and they will be present at this questioning" of the 12 inside Russian Federation.

"They have the capability, they have the will".

She said: "President Trump asked (national security adviser John Bolton) to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway".

Coats said he was just doing his job when he quickly issued a statement Monday after the president appeared to give credence to Russia's denial of election interference. "I think what we've seen on the foreign influence side is they were attempting to intervene and cause chaos on both sides, right, whether it was in Charlottesville where we saw them on both sides - whether it's in Syria - both sides".

Pelosi labels Putin a tyrant and a thug and says Trump's "frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment and a grave threat to our democracy". On this point she was less clear.

-Suggesting that Trump administration's policies were not to blame for separating children from their parents entering the country illegally at the nation's southern border. "We will do our best" to meet the July 26 deadline, "but we will not cut corners", Nielsen told the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

Secretary Nielsen did say that the DHS and the president are looking into ways to combat violent extremism.

On Wednesday, the White House said Trump's answer of "no" to a reporter who asked if Russian Federation was still targeting the United States was just his declining to answer questions.

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