REUTERS

"We're not lowering our sanctions on Russia," said Gary Cohn, director of the national economic council, The Washington Times reported.

"If anything, we would probably look to get tougher on Russia. The president wants to continue to keep the sanctions in place," he added.

Mr. Cohn was speaking at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, after Mr. Trump concluded the first day of meetings that focused largely on issues of trade, the Paris climate-change agreement and other economic topics.

Read alsoU.S. to boost sanctions on Iran, Syria, N. KoreaOn Thursday, Mr. Cohn had told reporters that Mr. Trump was "looking at" the Russia sanctions, adding, "we don't have a position." On Friday, he said he wanted to clarify his comments.

"I think the president's made it clear how the Russians can have the sanctions lifted," he said. "I don't want there to be any confusion on that topic."

Former President Barack Obama imposed new sanctions against Russia in December in response to revelations that Moscow had interfered in the U.S. presidential election. He also expelled dozens of Russian agents from the U.S.