Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has revealed that he actually wanted Donald Trump to win the 2016 US presidential election. Russia, however, did not contribute to Trump’s win by any means, he insisted.
“Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the need to normalize US-Russia ties,” Putin said, answering a direct question from a journalist during the joint press conference with Donald Trump following the Helsinki summit.
The Russian president left the second part of the question unanswered, however, regarding whether he “instructed” his officials to help Trump, since he had discussed the allegations of meddling earlier during the press conference.
“Russia did not interfere and is not going to interfere into American domestic affairs,” Putin stated, adding that this point had been made repeatedly. Moscow was ready to participate in a joint investigation with the US of the any such allegations, however, if any real evidence was presented, the Russian leader said. Such work could be conducted by a joint Russian-US cybersecurity group, the idea of which was floated by Putin during his last meeting with Trump in Hamburg.
The US and Russia are facing new challenges nowadays, differing drastically from the ones of the Cold War era, Putin said, naming regional conflicts, spread of terrorism, organised crime, ecology and economy risks.
Trump again asked his Russian counterpart on the alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential elections, Putin revealed, stating that he replied exactly the same, as the last time. Russia has not meddled into the internal affairs of the US, he stated, adding that if any real evidence is provided, Moscow will cooperate on it.
"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump said during a joint news conference following his summit with Putin.
The US President also hailed Putin's offer for Russian law enforcement officials to interrogate the Russian agents indicted by the special counsel Robert Mueller as "incredible." Putin had said the offer would be reciprocal.
"I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. We've all been foolish," Trump said at the news conference in Helsinki, Finland.
The meeting took place amid opposition from both Democrats and Republicans at home. White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 ‘Russian hackers’ on Friday, and the news was expected to cast a cloud over the summit, despite the fact that the ‘hackers’’ alleged offences took place during the Obama administration.
In other news, A protester has been removed from the press conference hall ahead of the joint media stakeout by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump.
The man has been forcibly removed by the security guards moments ahead of the press conference. The man held a pack of papers bearing ‘Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty’ inscription and shouted at the audience.
The agreement, known officially as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, was passed by the UN General Assembly last July. The deal bans all nuclear-weaponry-related activities for non-nuclear states and provides a framework for disarmament for nuclear ones. All the countries who actually have nuclear weaponry did not vote on the document and did not sign it. So far, only 11 states have ratified the agreement, which is set to take effect when 50 states worldwide ratify it.