President Trump tweets that Russian Federation will be "fighting very hard" to impact on the upcoming elections.
Overshadowing the result is concern about Trump's relationship with Russian Federation, after a campaign and first year in office where he regularly praises Putin, even as Russian Federation is identified with a nerve agent attack in Britain, backing for the Assad regime in Syria, and interference in the USA elections.
The sudden change of approach sent the president's critics in the media and the online #Resistance movement into disarray. More than half - 54 percent of voters overall - say Trump was not acting in the "best interest" of the USA, and 48 percent of white voters without college degrees agreed.
During a joint press conference after the Helsinki summit, Putin was asked if he had compromising information on Trump. Critics accused Trump of siding with Russian Federation over his own country by failing to so.
One MSNBC contributor called Trump's tweet a "bizarre message created to muddle the indelible image of servitude to Vladimir Putin".
The US President himself argued if Russian Federation had compromising material then "it would have been out long ago".
The issue of election meddling hung over last week's summit in Helsinki, with Trump during a news conference giving credence to Putin's denials of Russian interference despite the findings of the US intelligence community.
This, too, came up during Trump's conversation with Putin, with Trump directly and Putin obliquely denying the idea.
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Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, was also cautious on Friday about the prospects of a new summit, saying only that Moscow was ready to discuss the proposal.
Democrats need to pick up two seats to claim the Senate majority and 23 to control the House when the new Congress takes office in January.
Then-FBI Director James Comey told the House intelligence committee in March of 2017 that Russian cyber operatives also targeted the Republican Party or related organizations or people at the same time they were accessing the systems of Democrats to hurt Clinton. "They better not do it again".