Highlights of Trump-Putin News Conference

Putin denies meddling, and Trump calls the investigation a 'disaster for our country'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2018 11:10 AM CDT
Putin: No, We Didn't Interfere in US Election
President Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for their press conference in Helsinki.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

President Trump and Vladimir Putin met for two hours Monday—about 30 minutes longer than allotted—and both emerged afterward sounding dismissive about allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Some highlights:

  • Putin denial: The Russian president dismissed the notion of "so-called Russian interference" in the election. "I had to repeat that the Russian state never interfered, and does not plan to interfere in internal American electoral process," he said, reports the AP.
  • Trump denial: “There was no collusion,” Trump said, per the Washington Post. “I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign.”
  • A 'disaster': Trump said the two "spent a great deal of time" discussing the allegations, and he called the investigation into them "a disaster for our country" that has "kept us apart," reports the Wall Street Journal. "We ran a brilliant campaign, and that's why I'm president," he said.
  • Desired outcome: Did Putin want Trump to win? "Yes, I did," he said. "Because he talked about bringing the US-Russia relationship back to normal."

  • Intel community: Asked whether he believed Putin's denial or US intelligence reports concluding that Russia did, in fact, interfere in the election, Trump sounded skeptical of the intelligence reports. "I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia, he said. Trump also complained about the investigation into the DNC server in his response. Watch it here.
  • Cold War: It's a "thing of the past," said Putin, adding that he and Trump worked to "restore an acceptable level of trust." On that note, Trump reiterated that he thought US-Russia relations had "never been worse" just prior to Monday's summit. "That changed, about four hours ago," he said.
  • A deal, with a catch: Putin suggested that US investigators could go to Russia to take part in the interrogation of 12 Russian intelligence officers recently indicted in the Robert Mueller investigation. But there's a catch: “Let the Mueller commission send us a request, and we will do the work necessary to respond,” Putin said. “We can expand this cooperation—but we will then also expect from the US side access to people who we believe are members of the intelligence agencies.”
  • Similar praise: Putin called the meeting as "successful and useful" and said it took place in an "open and businesslike atmosphere." Trump called the meeting "a good start, a very good start for everybody." The two leaders met one on one, with only translators present.
  • Watch it: The White House has video of the full news conference here.
(Read more Vladimir Putin stories.)

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