Speed Reads


Russia's foreign minister claims Trump 'accepts' Putin's assurance that Russia didn't hack the election

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that President Trump raised the question of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their two-hour conversation on Friday at the G-20 summit. Moscow and the White House will set up a joint working group on cybersecurity as a result of that conversation, NPR's Lucian Kim reports. Kim added that Lavrov said "Trump … heard Putin's statements that Russia didn't hack [the] election and accepts them," although U.S. officials are already disputing that characterization.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was present at the meeting along with Lavrov, also had a different interpretation of the conversation. "They had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject [of the election hacking]," Tillerson said. "The president pressed President Putin, on more than one occasion, regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past. The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance ... "

Tillerson added: "How do we move forward from here? Because it's not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations. So the question is what do we do now? And I think the relationship, and the president made this clear as well, is too important. And it's too important to not find a way to move forward."

BBC News' Moscow correspondent, Steve Rosenberg, added that "according to Lavrov, Trump told Putin some circles in America were 'exaggerating' allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election."