On Wednesday, President Donald Trump conveyed that he could only do so much to press Russian president Vladimir Putin on whether his government meddled in the 2016 election.
“What do you do? End up in a fistfight with somebody, OK?” Trump asked reporters after explaining that Putin twice denied interfering in the 2016 presidential election. According to CNN, a reporter repeatedly asked Trump about that part of Trump and Putin's interaction at the G20 summit.
“I told (Putin). I said, look, we can't — we can't have — now, he said absolutely not twice,” Trump said in an off-the-record comment later made public.
Earlier in July, Putin reportedly said at a news conference that Trump asked him “a lot of questions” regarding 2016 election meddling. “I answered as many as I could answer. I think he took it into consideration and agreed with it. But you should ask him what his opinion is on that,” Putin said.
Russian and U.S. officials initially differed on how the Putin and Trump exchange unfolded. As Independent Journal Review previously reported, Russian ambassador Sergei Lavrov said last week that Trump accepted Putin's assurances that he didn't interfere with the 2016 election. CNN's Jim Acosta, however, later reported that a senior U.S. official said that was not the case.
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