Vladimir Putin denies any Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. On Saturday, Trump said that he believes Putin.
“Every time he sees me he says ‘I didn’t do that’ and I really believe that when he tells me that,” Trump continued, “He really seems to be insulted by it and he says he didn’t do it. He is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that.”
After a brief meeting with the Russian leader on the margins of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Vietnam, Trump launched a tirade against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.
The investigation could cost “millions and millions of lives”, Trump claimed, by hindering agreement with Moscow over conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and a looming confrontation with North Korea.
The president’s remarks, made to reporters as Air Force One flew to Hanoi from Da Nang, represented his open disregard for the views of US intelligence agencies. They have concluded that Russia did interfere in multiple ways in the 2016 election, with the aim of helping Trump’s candidacy.
We already know there was not a Russian collusion, unless you count Hillary Clinton’s shady dealings. The Democrats have launched an elaborate witch hunt, and only came back with the blood on their own hands.
The president described the investigation led by Mueller, a former FBI director appointed by Trump’s own justice department, as “Democrat-inspired” and a “hit job”.
Trump also claimed the investigation was preventing a normalisation of relations with Putin and therefore could cost countless lives around the world. He suggested Russia was not helping more to persuade Pyongyang to disarm“because of the lack of the relationship that we have with Russia, because of this artificial thing that’s happening with this Democratic-inspired thing”.
“I think [Putin] is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country. Because again, if we had a relationship with Russia, North Korea which is our single biggest problem right now, it would help a lot,” Trump said, “You know you are talking about millions and millions of lives.”
He continued, “When we can save many, many, many lives by making a deal with Russia having to do with Syria, and then ultimately getting Syria solved, and getting Ukraine solved, and doing other things, having a good relationship with Russia is a great, great thing. And this artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way. It gets in the way. And that’s a shame. Because people will die because of it, and it’s a pure hit job, and it’s artificially induced and that’s shame.”
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