Tillerson says Putin denied meddling in US election in 2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov came away from the meeting saying Trump had heard out Putin’s assurances that Moscow did not run a hacking and disinformation effort, and had dismissed the entire U.S. investigation into the Russian role.
“The U.S. president said that he heard clear statements from President Putin about this being untrue and that he accepted these statements,” Lavrov told Russian reporters.
Tillerson said that “President Putin denied such involvement,” but he did not say whether Trump accepted that assertion. Rather, Tillerson said Trump decided to move on because Russia would not admit blame. Tillerson said, though, that the United States wasn’t dismissing Russian responsibility and that the two sides had agreed to organize talks “regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process.”
All those who think such talks will have any useful results even if they’re actually held, please raise your hands. Great. Please step to one side. My sales force has bridges in NYC to sell you.
I don’t believe Lavrov. I’m not sure I believe Tillerson either, although I can imagine Trump saying “I had to ask that, Mr. President, now let’s move on and make a deal.”
I think Putin got the best of this meeting, because Trump doesn’t believe he’s a bad man or care if he is. Putin was legitimized by this meeting. Trump likes the strong men and wishes he could govern like them, with no lousy press or Congress in between him and the adoring crowds that make up his base.