Trump At Summit With Putin: “I Don’t See Any Reason Why” Russia Would Have Meddled In 2016 Election
President Donald Trump strongly disputed several intelligence agencies’ findings on Monday during his meeting with Vladimir Putin by saying he had no reason to believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
At the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Trump said Putin had once again denied Russia played any role in helping Trump get elected in 2016.
“He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said of the 2016 election meddling. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
On Friday, 12 Russia intelligence agents were indicted by the Justice Department for hacking Democratic National Committee email servers and hurting Hilary Clinton‘s campaign during the election. According to reports on Monday, Putin said Washington and Moscow could hold joint investigations into the dozen operatives who were charged last week. Putin said the U.S. could employ a 1999 agreement that encouraged mutual legal help, a pact that would allow Russian investigators to interrogate these intelligence agents.
In a tweet early Monday morning, Trump blamed the U.S., and not Russia, for the growingly tense relationship between the two countries, and particularly said the special counsel’s Russia investigation (a “rigged witch hunt”) was mostly to blame.
Russia’s foreign ministry “liked” Trump’s tweet and then replied to it by saying: “We agree.”
We agree https://t.co/7l087Qwmj3
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) July 16, 2018
Russia is currently investigating William Browder, a British investor who has been charged with financial crimes in Russia. Putin reportedly asked Trump that the U.S. assist Russia in this probe in exchange for Russia helping the U.S. with interrogating its countries’ recently indicted intelligence agents.