Following a brief round of will-they-or-won’t-they in the press, Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met again during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam. In what the New York Times describes as a private meeting between the two world leaders, Trump and his team reportedly brought up the many allegations of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election here in the United States. According to the Donald himself, however, Putin insists he and his government did not interfere with the election that ultimately put Trump in the White House.
“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said of asking Putin about the election meddling claims, adding: “I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.” The American president did note that when his Russian counterpart initially “said he didn’t meddle,” he “asked him again” just to make sure. “You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”
Aside from Trump’s utterly thorough investigation of the affair currently being scrutinized by several U.S. Senate and House committees and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s nonpartisan probe, however, he apparently emphasized Putin’s disdain at being asked about it more than anything. What’s more, he also used his brief moment with the press to insult former CIA Director John Brennan, ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and fired FBI Director James Comey as “political hacks.” Trump’s conclusion, therefore? “President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that.”
(Via New York Times)