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Trump is convinced Russia didn’t interfere in 2016 polls; blames US for sour ties with Moscow

By Shubham

Helsinki, July 17: In his widely anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin here on Monday, July 16, US President Donald Trump spoke on the allegations of Russia's interference in the US presidential elections of 2016 though the former denied that there was any attempt by the Kremlin to sabotage the election.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during their meeting in the Presidential Palace in Helsinki

The two leaders had a one-on-one summit in the Finnish capital following which, Trump said he had given the best message to Putin over the Kremlin's alleged interference in the election. Putin though stood to his position saying Russia had never interfered and will not do so in the US's internal affairs, the American president did not seem to contest his claims and said instead that Putin had an "interesting idea" about the issue of interference, reports said.

Trump, who is very upset with the investigation which is underway by special counsel Robert Mueller in the US over Russia's alleged interference in the election, said at a joint press conference with Putin that there was "no collusion". He said Putin was "extremely strong and powerful" in his denial and that he did not see any reason why Russia would be seen as responsible. Trump also said that Mueller's probe was a disaster for the US.

Putin later said that he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election because the latter was in favour of normalising the ties between the US and Russia. Trump took the opportunity to blame both countries for the lows in their relationships. Trump had also blamed the US for the hostilities with Russia, saying it has been foolish.

He later tweeted about "US foolishness and stupidity" and the Russian foreign ministry retweeted it, saying "We Agree".

Before the two leaders had their closed-door meeting where only the interpreters were present besides them, Trump said he and Putin had a lot of good things to speak on, including trade, military, nuclear proliferation and China, and in particular its president Xi Jinping who Trump called a "mutual friend".

Meanwhile, Trump's refusal to buy the intelligence inputs by his own countries' sleuths about Russia's interference in the 2016 election left them disappointed and many former intelligence chiefs not only found it astonishing but even condemned Trump's remarks made at the news conference with Putin.

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