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Trump Won't Say Whether He Believes Putin Denials on Election Meddling

Image: Trump Won't Say Whether He Believes Putin Denials on Election Meddling
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 05:11 PM

President Donald Trump on Thursday dodged a direct answer to whether he accepted Vladimir Putin's "very strong" denial of meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In remarks to reporters while en route to France, Trump repeated his assertion that in his sit-down with the Russian president last week he twice asked if Moscow was involved in the cyber and disinformation campaign aimed at the election.

"I said to him, 'were you involved with the meddling in the election?'" Trump told reporters. "He said, 'absolutely not. I was not involved.' He was very strong on it. I then said to him again, in a totally different way, 'were you involved with the meddling?' He said, 'I was not — absolutely not.'"

Trump was less forthright when asked if he believed Putin, The Hill reported.

"What I said, I asked him, 'were you involved?' He said, very strongly — said to him a second time — totally different — 'were you involved?' Because we can't let that happen," Trump said.

"And I mean whether it’s Russia or anybody else, we can't let there be even a scintilla of doubt when it comes to an election."

"And I'm not saying it wasn't Russia," the president added. "What I'm saying is that we have to protect ourselves no matter who it is."

Following the meeting with Trump in Germany last Friday, Putin told reporters the U.S. president seemed to accept his denial – and on Thursday, a reporter asked if Putin was lying, The Hill reported.

But on Thursday Trump pushed back, saying, "He said, 'I think he accepted it, but you’d have to ask him.' That's a big difference" than saying outright that Trump accepted the denial.

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President Donald Trump on Thursday dodged a direct answer to whether he accepted Vladimir Putin's "very strong" denial of meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
trump, putin, question, meddling
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2017-11-13
Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 05:11 PM
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