Trump Looks Forward to More Putin Talks

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday blamed political forces within the U.S. for attempting to undermine his summit with President Donald Trump in Helsinki, while the American leader called the meeting "a great success" and looked forward to seeing him again.Putin, in his first public comments on his meeting Monday with Trump, told Russian diplomats, "We see that there are forces in the United States that are prepared to casually sacrifice Russian-U.S. relations, to sacrifice them for their ambitions in the course of an internal political battle in the United States."He said it would be "naive to think that the problems" between the world's biggest nuclear superpowers "would be solved in a few hours." But he said that "the path to positive changes has all the same begun. It's important that a full-scale meeting has finally taken place allowing us to talk directly. We will see how things develop further."But he warned that the unnamed "forces" in the U.S. could try to prevent any improvement in relations, "putting narrow party interests above the national interest'' and appearing ready to hurt the U.S. economy while carrying out political fights. In Twitter remarks, Trump said, "The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems...but they can ALL be solved!" Trump was widely condemned by U.S. political figures, his Republican colleagues and opposition Democrats alike, for his performance at a news conference Monday alongside Putin, where he sided with Putin's denial that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election to try to help Trump win, equating it with the U.S. intelligence community conclusion that Russia had interfered.Back in Washington, Trump has backtracked, saying he accepts that Russia meddled in the election, but coupling his assessment with his repeated declaration that his campaign did not collude with Russian operatives.In an interview Wednesday, Trump told CBS News that he told Putin that Russia must not meddle in future U.S. elections."I let him know we can't have this, we're not not going to have it, and that's the way it's going to be," Trump said.But the U.S. leader declined to say whether he thinks Putin is lying in saying he did not meddle in Trump's 2016 campaign to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, an outcome Putin said he wanted to happen."I don't want to get into whether or not he's lying," Trump told CBS. Trump assailed U.S. news media accounts of the summit, his first extensive face-to-face meeting with the Russian leader."The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war," Trump tweeted. "They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin. We are doing MUCH better than any other country!"Trump quoted Fox News, his favorite television network, as saying that "Trump recognized Russian Meddling MANY TIMES.” He said, "The Fake News wants no part of that narrative! Too bad they don’t want to focus on all of the ECONOMIC and JOBS records being set." In a new report, The New York Times said that key national security officials in the administration of former President Barack Obama gave Trump a full-blown account of the extent of Russian meddling in the election two weeks before Trump took office, singling out Putin's direct role in carrying out the interference.But after the briefing, Trump issued a statement spreading the blame among "Russia, China and other countries, outside groups and countries."The president has routinely dismissed special counsel Robert Mueller's on-going criminal investigation into the Russian interference as both a hoax perpetrated by Democrats to explain Trump's upset victory and a "witch hunt" aimed at undermining his presidency.

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