Russian President Vladimir Putin met with President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit on Saturday and was asked by the media if the two discussed meddling in the 2016 election. Putin replied that Trump “asked many questions on the subject” and “agreed” that it didn’t happen.
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Putin said that it is “well-known” that “there are no grounds” for the allegations that Russia attempted to influence the election.
“He asked many questions on the subject, I tried to answer them all,” Putin said. “It seems to me that he has taken note of that and agreed, but it’s better to ask him about his attitude.”
“I feel as though my answers satisfied him,” he added. “He asked questions, I replied. It seemed to me that he was satisfied with the answers.”
Putin said he and Trump “agreed that there should be no uncertainty in that sphere,” and that they have to “ensure the fulfillment of international legal norms in that [cybersecurity] sphere and prevent meddling in internal affairs of Russia and the U.S” so that there would be no accusations of wrongdoing.
This was contradicted by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley who said Putin was trying to “save face.”
“This is Russia trying to save face, and they can’t, they can’t,” she said on CNN. “Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections. Everybody knows that they’re not just meddling in the United States’ election. They’re doing this across multiple continents, and they’re doing this in a way that they’re trying to cause chaos within the countries.”
Haley alleged that President Trump still knows that Russia “meddled.”
“President Trump still knows that they meddled. President Putin knows that they meddled, but he is never going to admit to it. And that’s all that happened,” she said.
Putin went on to say that Trump is different from how he appears on TV, saying that he “grasps precisely” what is said to him and is “straightforward.”
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“As for relations on personal level, I believe we have established them,” he said. “Trump’s T.V. persona differs sharply from the real man. He is a very straightforward person, grasps precisely what his interlocutor says, quickly analyzes and responds to questions or new elements of the discussion.”