‘I don’t know what the fuss is all about’: Trump commends his performance at the widely-panned summit with Putin

President Donald Trump throws a soccer ball to First Lady Melania Trump during a joint news conference with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.

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President Donald Trump throws a soccer ball to First Lady Melania Trump during a joint news conference with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.
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REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

  • Despite the bipartisan outrage over President Donald Trump’s widely-panned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump approved of his performance and said it went “great.”
  • “I think I did great at the news conference,” Trump said during an interview on CBS Evening News. “I think it was a strong news conference.”
  • In a message to critics who called for a harsher stance against the Kremlin, Trump suggested it was not diplomatically feasible.
  • “I will tell you I don’t know what the fuss is all about,” Trump said. “I think we did extremely well.”

Despite the bipartisan outrage over President Donald Trump’s widely-panned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump approved of his performance and said it went “great.”

“I think I did great at the news conference,” Trump said during an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor on Wednesday. “I think it was a strong news conference.”

Trump’s remarks at a joint press conference with Putin on Monday were condemned by Democrats and Republican leaders. While answering questions from reporters, he stopped far short of condemning Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election and appeared to hold reservations against US intelligence reports.

“My people came to me – Dan Coats came to me, some others – they said they think it’s Russia,” Trump said, referring to the US director of national intelligence. “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Trump later said he misspoke and walked back his comments after a wave of Republican lawmakers voiced their concern.

“In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,'” Trump said Tuesday. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.'”

A number of critics called for a harsher stance against the Kremlin, but Trump suggested on Wednesday it was not diplomatically feasible.

“You have people that said, ‘You should have gone up to him, you should have walked up and started screaming at his face,'” Trump said to CBS News. “We’re living in the real world, ok?”

“I will tell you I don’t know what the fuss is all about,” Trump added. “I think we did extremely well.”

The Trump administration continued to ruffle feathers late into Wednesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the two presidents discussed the possibility of allowing Russian officials to interview 11 Americans – including former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul – in exchange for special counsel Robert Mueller to interview 12 Russians indicted for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Watch Trump’s interview with CBS Evening News: