CNN reports: President Donald Trump suggested on Saturday he’s done confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin over his country’s election meddling since it’s insulting to the Russian leader.
Trump said he took Putin at his word that Russia did not seek to interfere in the US presidential election last year, despite a finding from US intelligence agencies that it did. The fraught relations between the two leaders was underscored anew when Putin’s spokesman said election meddling did not come up when they spoke, even though Trump said it did.
And he stressed that bigger issues persist between the United States and Russia that require the two leaders to move on.
“He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew from Da Nang to Hanoi in Vietnam. Trump spoke to Putin three times on the sidelines of summit here, where the Russia meddling issue arose.
“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,'” Trump said. “And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”
“I think he is very insulted by it,” Trump added.
His remarks, which came near the end of Trump’s marathon swing through Asia, amounted to the clearest statement yet of Trump’s views about last year’s election meddling issue. [Continue reading…]