HANOI, Vietnam — President Trump mentioned Russia’s Vladimir Putin as soon as once more vehemently denied interfering within the 2016 U.S. elections throughout their discussions on the sidelines of an financial summit Saturday. Mr. Trump made clear he isn’t serious about dwelling on the difficulty.
“He mentioned he completely didn’t meddle in our election. He didn’t do what they’re saying he did,” Mr. Trump mentioned of Putin, talking with reporters aboard Air Drive One as he traveled to Hanoi, the second-last cease of his Asia journey.
“Each time he sees me, he mentioned: ‘I did not try this.’ And I imagine, I actually imagine that when he tells me that he means it,” Mr. Trump mentioned, noting that Putin is “very insulted” by the accusation. Mr. Trump referred to as the accusation an “synthetic barrier” erected by Democrats — as soon as once more casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence neighborhood’s conclusion that Russia did attempt to intervene within the election to assist Mr. Trump win.
Mr. Trump and Putin didn’t have a proper assembly whereas they had been in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation summit, however the two spoke informally a number of instances on the occasion’s sidelines and reached an settlement on a variety of ideas for the way forward for war-torn Syria.
Mr. Trump’s newest feedback distinction with these of present and former U.S. intelligence officers, together withwho has mentioned Russia “clearly” meddled within the 2016 election, and has been meddling in elections for a hell of a very long time.”
However Mr. Trump made clear that the difficulty of Russian meddling within the election hovers over the leaders’ relationship and mentioned it jeopardized their capacity to work collectively on points together with North Korea’s escalating nuclear program and the lethal battle in Syria.
“Having relationship with Russia’s an excellent, great point. And this synthetic Democratic hit job will get in the way in which,” Mr. Trump informed reporters. “Individuals will die due to it.”
Mr. Trump danced across the query of whether or not he believed Putin’s denials, telling reporters that urgent the difficulty would have achieved little.
“He mentioned he did not meddle. I requested him once more. You possibly can solely ask so many instances,” mentioned Mr. Trump.
“Properly, look, I can not stand there and argue with him,” he added later. “I would fairly have him get out of Syria, to be sincere with you. I would fairly have him, you understand, work with him on the Ukraine than standing and arguing about whether or not or not — trigger that entire factor was arrange by the Democrats.”
Mr. Trump’s suggestion that he might imagine Putin over his personal nation’s intelligence neighborhood is definite to reignite the firestorm over the difficulty of election meddling. In the meantime, aof potential collusion between Moscow and Trump marketing campaign aides to this point has resulted in two indictments for monetary and different crimes unrelated to the marketing campaign, in addition to a responsible plea. Congressional committees have additionally been .
Earlier Saturday, the Kremlin issued an announcement saying the leaders had reached settlement on a variety of ideas for the way forward for civil war-torn Syria now that the Islamic State group has largely been pushed out. Among the many agreements’ key factors, based on the Russians, had been an affirmation of de-escalation zones, a system to forestall harmful incidents between American and Russian forces, and a dedication to a peaceable resolution ruled by a Geneva peace course of.
The Kremlin shortly promoted the settlement because the White Home stayed silent. Mr. Trump informed reporters that the deal was reached “in a short time” and that it will save “great numbers of lives.” And he praised his relationship with Putin the 2 “appear to have an excellent feeling for one another and relationship, contemplating we do not know one another nicely.”
Snippets of video of from the summit within the sea-side metropolis of Danang confirmed Mr. Trump and Putin shaking fingers and chatting, together with throughout the world leaders’ conventional group photograph. The 2 walked collectively down a path to the photograph web site, conversing amiably, with Mr. Trump punctuating his ideas with hand gestures and Putin smiling.
Journalists touring with Mr. Trump weren’t granted entry to any of the APEC occasions he participated in within the picturesque tropical seaside metropolis Saturday.
White Home officers had labored quietly behind the scenes negotiating with the Kremlin on the prospect of a proper assembly. The Russians raised expectations for such a session and Mr. Trump informed reporters aboard Air Drive One en path to Asia that it was “anticipated we’ll meet with Putin” to debate points together with ramping up stress on North Korea to halt its nuclear and ballistic weapons program. As hypothesis constructed, the 2 sides tried to craft the framework of a deal on the way forward for Syria that Mr. Trump and Putin might announce in a proper bilateral assembly, based on two administration officers not licensed to talk publicly about personal discussions.
Although North Korea and the Ukraine had been mentioned, the 2 sides centered on making an attempt to strike an settlement a couple of path to resolve Syria’s civil warfare as soon as the Islamic State group is defeated, based on officers. However the talks stalled and, minutes earlier than Air Drive One touched down in Vietnam, White Home press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders informed reporters the assembly was off.
Mr. Trump will likely be attending a state dinner in Hanoi Saturday night time. On Sunday, he’ll meet with the nation’s president and prime minister earlier than heading to his final cease: The Philippines.
CBS Information’ Stefan Becket and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.