Trump, Putin Meet One-On-One In Helsinki

Russian President Vladimir Putin, standing next to President Trump at a news conference on Monday in Helsinki, insisted that Russia "never interfered" with American affairs, including the 2016 presidential election.

Putin said Trump raised the issue, something the US President had promised to do during this one-on-one meeting with the President of Russia.

"Once again, President Trump mentioned issue of the so-called interference of Russia with the American elections," Putin said. "I had to reiterate things I said several times, including during our personal contacts, that the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal American affairs, including election process."

Trump described his 90+ minute meeting with Putin as a "very good start." Putin, in turn, described the meeting as frank and business-like. He said it was successful and they had a "fruitful round of negotiations."

Trump and Putin after the one-on-one participated in what's known as an expanded bilateral meeting and working lunch. 

With Trump at that luncheon were Fiona Hill, who is on the National Security Council; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; translator Marina Gross, who has previously translated for the State Department and other government entities; US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman; and national security adviser John Bolton. Chief of Staff John Kelly was also present.

During the joint conference, Putin also acknowledged that the U.S.-Russia relationship has been complicated.

"It's clear to everyone that the bilateral relationship are going through a complicated stage," Putin said. "Yet those impediments, the current tension, the tense atmosphere essentially have no solid reason behind it."

Putin closed out the conference by adding that he wanted Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential election, though rejecting allegations of Russian influence in the election.  

He and Trump insisted that there was no collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign despite the fact that a dozen Russian intelligence agents have been indicted by the U.S. for trying to influence the 2016 election.  

Putin said he told Trump that he would look into the latest allegations.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content