Trump says he will confront Putin on future Russia election attacks

President says he will discuss multiple international security issues with the Russian leader

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 13 July 2018 16:30 BST
Trump says he will ask Putin about meddling, but there won't be any 'got ya' revelations

Donald Trump has said he will confront Vladimir Putin about potential Russian interference in future US elections during their meeting next week in Finland.

The US president was finishing a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May when CNN's Jim Acosta shouted a question about Russian meddling. “Will you ask Putin to stay out of US elections?” he asked.

Mr Trump, who previously refused to accept any questions from CNN - calling the network "fake news," turned around and said "yes."

The confirmation seemingly marks the first time Mr Trump has publicly said he will discuss Russia’s future attempts at election interference either domestically or around the world. Moscow has denied any involvement in the US presidential election.

The US intelligence community has warned they believe Russian-linked hackers are continuing their efforts to meddle in free democratic elections worldwide, including the 2018 midterm elections across the US in November.

Mr Trump has been hesitant to acknowledge the idea that Russia meddling in the 2016 election, but said on Friday he would seek to restore positive relations with Moscow.

"We'll be talking to Putin about Ukraine, Syria, other parts of the Middle East, nuclear proliferation...I will absolutely bring [meddling] up. I will absolutely, firmly ask the question. And hopefully we will have a good relationship with Russia," he said. ”I'm not going in with high expectations, but we may come out with some very surprising things.”

Mr Trump also claimed he was the toughest US president on Russia in history.

“We have been far tougher on Russia than anybody, than anybody,” he said. ”Look I’m not gonna go down 100 years, but we’ve been extremely tough on Russia."

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