HELSINKI — President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin took questions from reporters after their Monday summit in Helsinki.
President Trump says the U.S. and Russia are to blame for years of tension and conflict and called both nations “foolish.” He says the relationship between the two countries has “never been worse than it is now”, but says things have changed because of Monday’s four-hour meeting between the two leaders.
Speaking through an interpreter, Putin called talks with Trump “fruitful and successful”.
Putin noted that “the Cold War is over” and said the U.S. and Russia can work together to confront issues such as terrorism, international crime syndicates, and environmental threats.
“We can only cope with these challenges if we join the ranks and work together. Hopefully, we will reach an understanding with our American partners,” Putin said through an interpreter.
President Trump addressed the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, calling the probe “a disaster for the U.S.” He indicated that he believes Putin when he says that the Russians did not meddle in the election and singled out Indiana native and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats in his comments.
“My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me, some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said.
Putin said Russia has “never interfered and is not going to interfere in American internal affairs”, including elections.
A dozen Russian intelligence agents have been indicted by the U.S. for trying to influence the presidential election. Putin vowed to look into the latest allegations.
(Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)