But an unsupervised face-to-face meeting with Putin, with no opportunities for other USA officials to influence decisions, held the danger of far more damaging outcomes than the further discrediting of Trump himself. "He thinks the way to make Russian Federation stronger is to weaken America and as long as we're clear about it, I think it's important that the nations speak to one another and that our leaders speak to one another".
The idea that the Russians have secret information on Trump stems from the existence of the infamous Steele Dossier.
Trump tweeted Sunday on the documents: "As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of "Justice" and Federal Bureau of Investigation misled the courts".
Rubio pushed back on that and defended the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Would you now", the reporter continued, "with the whole world watching, tell President Putin - would you denounce what happened in 2016, and would you warn him to never do it again?"
The Post-ABC poll finds that 47 percent say that under Trump, America's leadership in the world has gotten weaker, versus 30 percent who say it has gotten stronger.
"He's a guy who went bragging around the world about his connections to Russian Federation, so they [the FBI] knew who he was before the campaign", Rubio said. "Then you see they guy kind of gravitating around a leading campaign, and then other things came up on their screen, and they said we've got to look at this guy".
Now Theresa May faces recess rebellion (and another Brexit bill)
Eight officials have quit since that summit, including two very high-profile Leave advocates, David Davis and Boris Johnson . She will also address a group of her backbench MPs this evening.
In an interview on Fox News, guest host Bret Baier asked Gowdy why Trump continues to suggest that Russian Federation may not have been responsible for the 2016 election attack, even as the president claims that he accepts the intelligence community's assessment about the Kremlin's role.
"It was important that he [Trump] do that", Rubio told moderator Margaret Brennan. USA intelligence agencies have consistently advised President Trump that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election-a position President Trump says he accepts.
The committee chairman went on to say that Trump intelligence officials should resign if the president continues to disregard their advice. "I will also say this", Gowdy opined. Mr. Trump walked back the statement the next day.
There is also uncertainty about the long-term fate of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after his dumbfounded on-camera reaction at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado, on Thursday to the breaking news about the invitation to Putin. "It's certainly better than the impression that had been left after Helsinki".
The Helsinki conference did not go well for the US, by Rubio's assessment. "To me, that's beyond comprehension", Menendez said. Speaking with CNBC, Trump later characterized (and distorted) the exchange as "fools from the media saying, 'Why didn't you stand there, look him in the face, walk over to him, and start shouting at him?' I said, 'Are these people insane?" I'll give you credit for that Mr. President, but it's not working.
Gowdy, who has spearheaded an effort among House Republicans to discredit elements of the Mueller probe, said heavily redacted documents released late Saturday by the Justice Department - which described the FBI's suspicions and evidence that former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page might have been collaborating with Moscow - demonstrated government overreach and bad faith.