I wanted Trump to win - Vladimir Putin

Thursday, 19 Jul, 2018

Standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference on Monday, US President Donald Trump indicated that he believes Russia over the US intelligence community when it comes to the Kremlin's meddling in the 2016 election.

"It went well", he said.

Trump earlier Monday faulted "U.S. foolishness and stupidity" for the deteriorated ties in a series of pre-meeting tweets. However, that changed as of about four hours ago.

Both presidents denied Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump's willingness to accept Putin's denials puts him at odds, not only with his US intelligence agencies and lawmakers from both parties, but also his own national security adviser, John Bolton, who said Sunday that after seeing the indictments, he found it "hard to believe" that Putin was unaware of election interference.

Trump said he ran a clean campaign and beat Hillary Clinton soundly in 2016. "Shameful. Jaw-dropping. Disgraceful. I am running out of words to describe how despicable it is to see an American President capitulate to a dictator".

"Frankly we have not been getting along together very well for the last number of years", Trump told Putin, quickly adding "I have not been here too long".

Before and during the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, the US President again berated European nations for falling short of the alliance's goal to have all member-states devote 2 per cent of GDP to the military.

"I think when you look at the progress that's been made in certain sections with the eradication of Isis... working with Israel is a great thing, and creating safety for Israel is something both president Putin and I would like to see".

"Of course Syria will be discussed by the two presidents,"said Peskov".

"We spent a great deal of time talking about it". "We have all the required components" for peace. In the United States we call it soccer, and I watched quite a bit of it.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have shaken hands and exchanged plesantries in Helsinki before beginning a private meeting which Trump said would cover "everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China". He nodded along to some of Trump's remarks before they were translated, showcasing his fluency in English.

Putin, for his part, said he and Trump have maintained regular contact by phone and meeting at worldwide events but "the time has come to have a thorough discussion on various global problems and sensitive issues". My people came to me ... they said they think it's Russian Federation. "I think that the United States now has stepped forward, along with Russian Federation, and we're getting together and we have a chance to do some great things". I think we can hopefully do something about that because it is not a positive force, it is a negative force.

That's a bad thing. The leaders will conclude by taking questions at a joint news conference.