Speed Reads

Quotables

Trump says he 'really believes' Putin's denial of election meddling

"Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it," President Trump said Saturday of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow's attempts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election. "He said he didn't meddle," the president told reporters aboard Air Force One. "I asked him again. You can only ask so many times … He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did."

Of his meeting with Putin in Vietnam later that day, Trump continued, "I can't stand there and argue with him." Instead, he said, he'll talk about Russian military action in the Mideast and Eastern Europe. "I would rather have him get out of Syria," Trump explained. "You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with [election interference]. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine."

Also on Saturday, Russia Today reports, Putin publicly addressed the meddling allegations at the economic summit he and Trump are attending in Vietnam. "There wasn't and could not be any confirmation of our media's meddling in the [U.S.] election campaign," Putin said, dismissing the import of Moscow-linked social media advertising. Russia Today is funded by the Russian government and this week registered as a foreign agent at the insistence of the Justice Department because of its election activity.