Trump declines to back US intelligence on Russian meddling

Arnold Nichols
July 18, 2018

During the press conference, Putin denied interfering in the 2016 presidential election - despite the findings of the USA intelligence community and the recent indictments in America of 12 Russian agents - though he acknowledged preferring Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the contest.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin leave after a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.

As to charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the president dismissed them as being ludicrous, saying he beat Democratic contender Hillary Clinton fair and square.

Putin said discussion topics included arms treaties, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, Syria, North Korea, Russia's opposition to the USA withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, and joint business investment opportunities.

The nail was truly placed in the coffin of Trump's allegiance to Russian Federation when he straight up said: "I have real confidence in my intelligence people, but I must tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial".

Trump said "I addressed the issue of Russian interference in our elections".

Mr Trump also continued to deny that there had been any other collusion between his campaign and Russians, declaring: "We ran a brilliant campaign and that's why I'm President".

But Trump made it clear he believed the Russian leader when Putin denied his country had any hand in meddling in U.S. political affairs.

"Trump's "We're all to blame" says it all", Kasparov tweeted.

The two leaders spoke at a joint news conference.

Putin, speaking through an interpreter, once again denied what he described as "so-called interference of Russian Federation".

"These intelligence agencies work for the president of the United States, and for him not to defend their activities, to me, was a very sad point", he said.

"We can no longer completely rely on the White House", Maas said Monday. I will say this.

Before the summit even began, Trump blamed his own country for the deterioration in relations. "I really think the world wants to see us get along".

"I did hear this rumor that we allegedly collected compromising material when President Trump was in Moscow..."

"A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russian Federation, but it is good for the world", he said.

Putin "felt very strongly about it and has an interesting idea", Trump said. "I don't see why they would do it", Trump added.

When the world leaders sat down to shake hands and pose for photographs, Trump said he wanted to have a "extraordinary relationship" with Putin going forward.

"We have a lot of good things to talk about". He called it "nonsense" and insisted the Russian state had never interfered and would never interfere in the American electoral process. "President Trump has just mentioned that we've successfully concluded the football World Cup".

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