Trump and Putin Share Joke About Election Meddling, Sparking New Furor – The New York Times
“It’s a great honor to be with President Putin,” Mr. Trump said as they sat together. “We’ve had great meetings,” he added. “We have had a very, very good relationship. And we look forward to spending some pretty good time together. A lot of very positive things going to come out of the relationship.”
Mr. Putin said they would discuss trade, disarmament and other issues. “All this will be built on a very good relationship that will be between us,” he said. “I think that the results of this meeting will be excellent.” Russian officials later reported that Mr. Putin had invited Mr. Trump to visit Moscow next spring for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, and that the American president seemed positive.
The White House summary of the leaders’ meeting indicated that they talked about Mr. Trump’s proposed three-way arms control agreement with China, as well as about disputes in Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine. The summary made no mention of election interference, nor anything about two Americans who have been arrested by the Russian authorities on disputed charges.
Likewise, it said nothing about an international investigation this month that pointed to Russia in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, which killed all 298 people on board. International prosecutors have indicted three men with ties to Russian military and intelligence agencies in the destruction of the passenger jet and implicated, without charging, a senior aide to Mr. Putin.
Nor did the summary indicate that the leaders talked about Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships and two dozen sailors last November, events that prompted Mr. Trump to cancel a scheduled meeting with Mr. Putin, and that remain unresolved. When a reporter asked about the ships and sailors on Friday, the president said, “We haven’t discussed them.”
While Mr. Putin did not address the election issue with reporters on Friday, he scoffed at the idea of Russian involvement during an interview before flying to Osaka. He advanced the same line of argument that Mr. Trump does: that he won in 2016 because he was in better touch with Americans.