Back in Washington a day later, amid attacks from members of both parties, Trump said he did indeed have faith in the USA intelligence community's conclusions about Russian meddling, although he also said "others" might be involved.
Antonov gave details of their discussions on arms control, but said the US has been reluctant to back Russia's proposals so far.
"Look, the fact is we got along well", Trump said in the interview, which was taped on Thursday. "So Republicans have told and are still telling witnesses "'do not come in" to intelligence committee hearings and "'don't tell the Democrats anything, '" Schiff alleged.
"It is our responsibility as leaders of United States government to do all that we can to deter them from interfering with us, not only in our elections, but more broadly as well".
"That talks are held is basically good for all, in particular between these two countries", Merkel said at her regular summer press conference.
Russia's Defense Ministry said it sent detailed proposals to Washington on organising the return of more than 1.7 million refugees to Syria after agreements reached by Putin and Trump, RIA news agency said.
Trump says he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling
But Texas Republican John Cornyn said the Senate should focus on "additional sanctions instead of just some messaging exercise". But Trump also appeared to undercut his statement and suggested "other people" could have interfered with the election as well.
"There were suggestions, comments, thoughts by President Putin with respect to that inquiry". Trump said. The idea landed with a thud among officials back in the U.S.
Almost a year has passed since white nationalists convened a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one counter-protester was killed. At the time, White House officials worked to convince a skeptical president that the Nordic capital would serve as a more effective backdrop - and warned of a firestorm should a West Wing meeting go through.
Conflicting messages from the White House this week added to the confusion after Trump's overseas trip, during which he appeared to draw closer to Russian Federation after alienating North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.
On Thursday, Trump said he was "not happy" that the Federal Reserve was raising interest rates, breaking with long-standing tradition at the White House of avoiding any influence on the US central bank.
Nielsen discussed Trump's controversial comments that there were "fine people on both sides" of the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer.
"I don't think there is any question in the [intelligence] community or at [the Department of Homeland Security] that Russians attempted to infiltrate and interfere with our electoral systems", Nielsen said at a security forum in Colorado on July 19. The Republican president on Thursday invited Putin to Washington for a second meeting in the fall, defying a barrage of criticism in the United States that followed the two leaders' first official summit on Monday in Helsinki.
Nielsen also declined to say whether the systematic separation of migrant children from their parents was a form of child abuse and placed the blame for the policy on Congress's failure to pass immigration reform.