Russian President Vladimir Putin is steadfastly denying that his country meddled in the 2016 White House race, President Trump told reporters Saturday.
Trump and Putin briefly spoke several times while in Vietnam for a regional economic summit, as part of the U.S. president’s 12-day trip to Asia.
“He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump afterward told reporters, aboard Air Force One. “He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”
Putin’s words contradict U.S. intelligence community claims that Russia indeed tried to influence the election’s outcome — amid evidence that suggests Russian operatives hacked emails from Democratic Party leaders and tried to sway U.S. voters by purchasing ads of social media.