Trump: U.S. must work with Russia, move past election issues
By JILL COLVIN
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump said Sunday that “it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia” after his lengthy meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany. But he is still avoiding the question of whether he accepts Putin’s denial that Russia was responsible for meddling in the 2016 election.
Speaking in a series of tweets the morning after returning from a world leaders’ summit in Germany, Trump said he “strongly pressed” Putin twice over Russian meddling during their meeting Friday.
President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Trump said that Putin “vehemently denied” the conclusions of American intelligence agencies that Russian hackers and propagandists tried to sway the election in Trump’s favor. But Trump would not say whether he believed Putin, tweeting only that he’s “already given my opinion.”
Trump has said he thinks Russia probably hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton staffers, but that “other people and/or countries” were likely involved as well. He said ahead of the meeting that, “Nobody knows for sure.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov first told reporters in Germany on Friday that Trump had accepted Putin’s assurances that Russia hadn’t meddled — an assertion Putin repeated Saturday after the Group of 20 summit. Putin said he left the meeting thinking that Trump had believed his in-person denials.
“He asked questions, I replied. It seemed to me that he was satisfied with the answers,” Putin said.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not answer directly when asked Sunday if Trump had accepted Putin’s denial, but told reporters in Ukraine that Trump’s conversation with Putin on election interference went “about the way we expected.” Tillerson was the only other American official in the room.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also […]