Posted by: maboulette | July 8, 2017

Meeting between Trump and Putin Different on American Intelligence


trump and putin

President Trump met for more than two hours with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, after which both sides offered seemingly contradictory accounts of their discussions about American intelligence findings of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

TRUMP ACCEPTED PUTIN’S CONTENTION

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in a televised briefing that Trump accepted Putin’s contention that Russia “has not interfered in the elections” and called the controversy “strange and bizarre,” according to the translation of Lavrov’s remarks.

SEC STATE REX TILLERSON

But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at an off-camera briefing with U.S. reporters that Trump began their conversation by “raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference,” which was followed by a “robust” and “lengthy discussion of the matter.”

AGREED

Trump and Putin agreed that the controversy over Russian interference in the election is a “substantial hindrance in the ability to move the U.S.-Russian relationship forward,” Tillerson said, and they wanted to move on.

ADDED TILLERSON

“There was not a lot of relitigating the past,” Tillerson added. “Both leaders felt there are a lot of things both of us are unhappy about” but they wanted to try to move past that. Lavrov separately said there “was a constructive atmosphere.”

MONITOR CYBERATTACKS

The two presidents decided to put together a “framework” to monitor cyberattacks and evaluate who should be “held accountable.”

OTHER ISSUES

The conversation covered a range of other issues, including Ukraine, Syria, terrorism and cybersecurity, officials said.

MEETING BEYOND 30 MINUTES

The meeting went well beyond a scheduled 30 minutes — not surprising given past encounters between Putin and U.S. presidents. But it was nonetheless notable given the incredible scrutiny on this one, taking place against the backdrop of multiple investigations into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections and potential collusion involving former and current Trump aides.

DRIVEN BY NATIONAL INTERESTS

“Both presidents were driven by their national interests, and they also both understood that both countries can do this only if we search for a balance between the interests of our two countries and if we want to main stability,” Tillerson said.

LUKEWARM GREETING

Trump and Putin had exchanged cordial if lukewarm greetings in front of reporters before launching into the meeting, which included only the two presidents, Tillerson and Lavrov and two translators.

 

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