'Political outsiders' Trump and Löfven talk North Korea and tariffs

President Trump Tuesday appeared to make a concession to reality: "Certainly there was meddling" in the 2016 presidential elections, he said.

At a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Kjell Stefan Löfven, Trump took a question about what both countries could do to ensure election integrity in 2018. One of the things we're learning, it's always good to have a paper back-up system of voting. Paper. And a lot of states are doing that. I like watching it. "It's tough", he said.

Adm. Mike Rogers, the outgoing director of both the U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency, said the U.S. response to Russian Federation has not been strong enough to change Moscow's activities.

In January, the Trump administration was harshly criticized for not imposing new sanctions when a list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 oligarchs was released to comply with a law Congress passed to punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 USA election.

"If the President decides, and the key actors decide they want us to help out, we'll be there", he said.

"We're studying it very closely", he added.

Putin added in Wednesday's remarks he was disappointed in the US political system, which he said has "demonstrated its inefficiency and has been eating itself up".

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"We havent been giving credit for this, but weve actually been working very hard on the 18 election and the 20 election coming up", he said.

Trump claimed he is not concerned about a repeat of the last national election.

"You have to be very vigilant", Trump said. And we won't allow that to happen. "We're counteracting it very strongly", he said of Russia's tactics, some of which were detailed last month in court documents prepared by special counsel Robert Mueller III.

The federal indictment represents the most detailed allegations to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Trump to the White House. "Nobody got that. I think they're honest because of the sanctions". He touted the GOP-crafted tax overhaul law, regulations his administration has terminated, and the "many, many (conservative) judges going on to the bench" across the country.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said there was concern Trump's plan could lead to such disruptive turmoil.

"The European Union has been particularly tough on the United States; they make it almost impossible to do business with them. if they do that, we'll put a big 25 percent tax on their cars", Trump said. The European Union has vowed to take reciprocal action, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker discussed the matter with Löfven before he arrived in Washington, according to Swedish news agencies. "That is why our intelligence agency now also increase in their own capacity to detect and counter whether it's hacker attacks or financing or producing or spreading propaganda, whatever it is".

  • Adam Floyd