Helsinki: United States President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stance on Russia’s non-involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election, insisting that he ran a clean campaign.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Trump said that there was “zero collusion” and that he ran a “clean campaign.”
“There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it,” he said.
Trump also mentioned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign was “a disaster for our country,” while also saying that it had negatively impacted US-Russia relations.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the probe,” Trump said. When questioned if he would rather trust the US agencies that have concluded that Russia did interfere in the 2016 elections or Putin, who denies those claims, Trump repeatedly asked why the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did not confiscate the Democratic National Committee’s email server and Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“Why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that. Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone,” Trump said.
Earlier, Putin had strongly denied reports of Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, saying that Russia had “never interfered” with American affairs.
“Once again, President Trump mentioned issue of the so-called interference of Russia with the American elections. I had to reiterate things I said several times, including during our personal contacts, that the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal American affairs, including election process,” Putin said.
He also touched upon the indictment of 12 Russian nationals by a US jury last week as part of Mueller’s investigation for their alleged meddling with the 2016 elections, saying that he wasn’t familiar with the full extent of the situation, saying that he will look into the matter.