Vladimir Putin; Donald Trump (AP/Evan Vucci)

Trump administration officials do not dispute Russia's claim that Trump accepted Putin's word on election meddling

An anonymous Trump official told CNN Friday that Trump did not accept Putin's claims, but that story has changed


Taylor Link
July 8, 2017 7:47PM (UTC)

After President Trump and President Putin ended their marathon discussion on Friday, it was Russia — not the United States — that provided the press an account of the meeting.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told reporters Friday that Trump accepted Putin's denial of meddling in the U.S. election.

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This revelation was not exactly surprising. For months, Trump has tried to distance Russia from the election hacking, telling the American people that anyone could have been behind the theft of Democratic Party emails.

Later Friday, however, CNN journalist Jim Acosta reported that Trump did not actually accept Putin's claim, citing a senior administration official who was familiar with the meeting.

Because Trump did not hold a press conference like other world leaders did at the G-20 summit, Americans back at home were left wondering what actually went down in the long-awaited meeting.

On Saturday, the final day of the summit, officials in the Trump administration finally talked to reporters about what they did and did not accomplish this week.

Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, was incredibly candid about his bosses meeting with Putin.

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, on the other hand, offered a more upbeat version of the talk.

Mnuchin offered few details as to why he was so optimistic after the meeting. The Treasury secretary would not deny Russia's claim that Trump agreed with Putin on his denial of election meddling.

Mnuchin and McMaster were not part of the Trump-Putin meeting themselves, but their inability to refute Russia's claims suggest they have knowledge that Trump accepted Putin's denial of any wrongdoing.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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