Trump and Putin deny allegations of Russian interference in 2016 US election

Trump and Putin deny allegations of Russian interference in 2016 US election

Monday, July 16, 2018

Donald Trump called his meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin “a very constructive two hours we spent together”.

Both presidents denied Russian involvement in the 2016 US election.

On Saturday (July 14) 12 Russians were indicted in the US as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into election rigging.

Trump said the men had nothing to do with the election.

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“It’s in the interest of both our countries to continue the conversation and I’m sure we’ll meet again in the future,” he said.

On the allegations, Putin said: “I had to repeat what I said earlier, including in personal meetings with the president, Russia never interfered and doesn’t plan to interfere in US domestic politics, including elections.”

Trump echoed his sentiments, telling a reporter: “The probe is a disaster for our country. There was no collusion at all, everybody knows it.

“It was a clean campaign, I beat Hillary Clinton easily. It’s a shame there’s a bit of a cloud over it. Zero collusion, and it has had an impact over the two most powerful countries in the world.”

He continued when asked about the Mueller probe by another reporter: “When you hear the 12, 14 [12 Russians were indicted at the weekend as part of the probe]… these people had nothing to do with the campaign.”

Helping Syria

Putin also said he’s “glad” issues in the Korean Peninsula are “starting to resolve”, alluding to Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un.

He talked about resettling Syrian refugees and how he and Trump discussed their countries’ intervention in the country.

Neither leader expanded in detail on their exact plans to help resettle Syrian refugees, but said they would work with Israel.

“We’ve worked with Israel for many decades and never has any country been closer than we are,” said Trump.

“Russia is also close to Israel, and they’d both like to do something in respect to Syria.

“I think when you look at the progress that’s been made in certain sections with the eradication of Isis… working with Israel is a great thing, and creating safety for Israel is something both president Putin and I would like to see.

Putin agreed, saying: “I concur with president Trump, our military do get along, and we will keep working, Russia, Turkey, and Iran, which I informed president Trump about.”

‘World Football Cup’

Throughout their address, Putin and Trump made a series of football puns, with Trump congratulating Putin on Russia holding the World Cup and saying the “ball is in [his] court”.

“Speaking about having the ball in our court in Syria, president Trump has just mentioned that we’ve concluded our World Football Cup, now I pass the ball back to you, the US will host the World Cup in 2026,” said Putin, referencing the fact that the US, Canada and Mexico will jointly host the tournament in eight years’ time.