DA NANG, Vietnam – US President Donald Trump said his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has strenuously denied meddling in his 2016 election to the White House after the two leaders met briefly Saturday in Vietnam.
Trump said that Putin had felt quite insulted by claims of Russia’s intrusion into the US presidential election.
“He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump told reporters. “I asked him again,” he added, saying that Putin had felt quite insulted by the inference that Russia could have been involved in interfering.
Trump insisted that accusations of Russian involvement in his election had created an artificial barrier, something that hindered cooperation and also got in the way of trying to resolve conflicts like that of North Korea.
The US justice department is probing allegations that Russia was covertly involved in the election and also with claims that there might have been alleged collusion within Trump’s campaign team.
Key former aides have been linked to the investigation, including campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to giving false information to the FBI about his meetings with people linked to Russia.
Also, Paul Manafort, who managed Trump’s campaign, is currently under house arrest on charges of money laundering in a case that has been linked to the investigation.
Speaking at a press conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Putin denied any wrongdoing related to Trump’s election.
“We have to look to the future, solve problems in which both the American people and the Russian people are interested,” Putin said.