Trump said Monday at a press conference during his Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he didn't see why Russia would be involved with election interference.
"Even in redacted form, the initial FISA application and three renewals underscore the legitimate concern Federal Bureau of Investigation had about Page's activities as it was investigating Russia's interference", Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Saturday.
Cecilia Vega, the ABC News reporter who asked the question, said on Twitter that she believes the president heard her clearly and that Trump was looking directly at her when he spoke.
President Donald Trump reportedly told aides he was impressed with Russian President Vladimir Putin after their one-on-one meeting in Helsinki last week.
The White House or Trump had to walk back their remarks on three separate occasions, and the State Department, the Senate, and even Trump's top intelligence chief publicly split with him over the last ten days on the issue of Russia's aggression toward the West.
"You need to work with Congress to come up with new sanctions because Putin's not getting the message", Graham said on CBS's "Face the Nation". I'll give you credit for that Mr. President, but it's not working.
Senator Marco Rubio wants a vote on a bill called DETER that would impose new sanctions if US intelligence officials determine Russian Federation meddled in USA elections.
Among Democrats, only 9 percent approve, while 89 percent disapprove.
The negative reaction, which Trump previously blamed on "Trump Derangement Syndrome", continued into the weekend, as former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the president's actions in Finland alarming. Podesta's emails, they hacked into the DNC, it could be us next.
Despite facing major blowback, Trump, in characteristic fashion, doubled down on his affinity for Putin. John McCain, R-Ariz., for example, called Trump's performance one of the most disgraceful by a US president in memory.
In Washington, D.C., the bipartisan response to Trump's handling of the Putin summit was fiercely critical. But younger and older Americans tended to offer similar assessments to other questions.
"He's changed his mind four times this week", Graham said. There was also Putin's controversial suggestion that the US could sit in on the questioning of the 12 indicted Russians - but only if the USA would allow Russia to question of Americans whom the Kremlin has accused of committing "illegal activities".