Russian President Vladimir Putin hands U.S. President Donald Trump a World Cup football. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

President Trump, who seemed to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit Monday rather than the U.S. intelligence community, doubled down on the leader's strong denial of election meddling and criticized the United States' poor state of relations with Moscow during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.

"[Putin] said there's absolutely no collusion, which you know, and everybody who watches this show knows, and I think most of the country knows ... And I tell you, I thought it was a really amazing time ... I thought that President Putin was very, very strong."
— President Trump

After that, Hannity seemed to agree with Trump's dismissal of collusion and moved onto other topics, including nuclear proliferation and the eradication of ISIS.

Other highlights:

  • Mueller investigation: Trump characterized Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe as a "phony, witch hunt deal” that’s driven "a wedge" between the U.S. and Moscow. He added that Putin agrees that it's "a shame."
  • Trump said he and Putin discussed War and Peace, Syria, and Ukraine: “At the end of this I think we came to a lot of real, good conclusions." Trump added that the summit was "really good" for Israel, “he loves Bibi.”

The backdrop: The interview with Hannity comes after the president cast doubts on the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump. His refusal to confront Russia, a U.S. adversary, stunned lawmakers from both parties.

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Michael Cohen taken back into federal custody

Michael Cohen arrives at his Park Avenue apartment on May 21 in New York City. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's disgraced former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is heading back to prison after refusing the conditions of his home confinement, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Details: A New York Post report earlier this month placed Cohen out at a restaurant in New York with his wife, while one of the sources said that more broadly he refused to wear an ankle bracelet.

U.S. sanctions Chinese officials over Uighur human rights abuses

Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that the U.S. has sanctioned four Chinese Communist Party officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: The sanctions designations, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Act passed by Congress in 2016, mark a significant escalation in the Trump administration's response to the Chinese government's detainment of over 1 million Uighurs in internment camps.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,118,667 — Total deaths: 551,271 — Total recoveries — 6,649,930Map.
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