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President Trump sees 'no reason' why Russia would meddle

Posted: 5:32 AM, Jul 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-16 12:22:08-04
LIVE: President Trump, Putin meet in Finland
LIVE: President Trump, Putin meet in Finland

HELSINKI (AP) — President Donald Trump says the Russia investigation has been a "disaster" for the United States and has kept America and Russia "separated."

Speaking during a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, he reiterates that there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russian government.

Trump says he ran a "clean campaign" and he beat his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton "easily." The president says it's a "shame" there is a cloud over his administration. He says he ran a "brilliant campaign and that's why I'm president."

Putin is pushing back against claims that his government interfered in the U.S. election. He says there's "no evidence when it comes to the actual facts."

Putin says he and U.S. President Donald Trump have agreed to continue detailed discussions on arms control issues.

Putin said Russia and the U.S. should discuss a possible extension of the 2010 New START nuclear arms reduction treaty and the implementation of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Putin added that other issues that Russia would like to discuss in the arms control sphere are the U.S. missile defense plans and the weaponization of space.

He spoke at their joint news conference wrapping up the Helsinki summit.

Trump says the United States and Russia must find ways to "cooperate in pursuit of shared interests."

Trump says a productive dialogue between the U.S. and Russia is good for both countries and "is good for the world."

Speaking in Finland after a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump says they discussed disagreements between their countries "at length."

Trump adds that relations between the U.S. and Russia have never been worse. He adds that he thinks that "changed as of about four hours ago."

He says he's sure that he and Putin will meet again often in the future.

Putin says the "so-called Russian interference" in the U.S. 2016 presidential election was brought up by President Donald Trump during their summit in Helsinki.

Putin said: "I had to repeat that the Russian state never interfered, and does not plan to interfere in internal American electoral process."

In general, he said, the talks with Trump took place in an "open and businesslike atmosphere" and he characterized them as "successful and useful."

 

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Associated Press writers Zeke Miller, Ken Thomas and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

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