During his trip abroad in Asia this week, President Donald Trump branded the “Russian election meddling” rhetoric a “Democratic hit job,” saying, that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton just “didn’t have the chemistry” to build good relations with Vladimir Putin, because “there is a talent to that.”
Reuters reported that Trump said this to reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday after three brief encounters between the Russian and US presidents on the grounds of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam. Trump said that Putin appears to be “very insulted” by the allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election which “is not a good thing for our country.”
“Every time he [Putin] sees me, he says I didn’t do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said, adding that a number of former intelligence community chiefs acted merely as “political hacks,” fueling the ‘Russian meddling’ narrative.
“You hear it’s 17 agencies. Well, it’s three. … They’re political hacks,” the American president said. “Everybody knows there was no collusion. I mean, you speak to these people… I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day and I respect her. She was on television the other day saying there’s no collusion. The Democrats – the Republicans come out screaming it, but the Democrats come out, and they say, ‘No, there’s no collusion.’ There is no collusion. There’s nothing.”
Trump said that the persisting hysteria around Moscow’s alleged involvement in the US election is a “Democratic hit job,” preventing the two countries from engaging in any meaningful cooperation. He also cited the joint US-Russia statement on Syria, delivered by the two presidents during the summit, as an example of such fruitful cooperation, which could be possible without the overblown scandal around the alleged ‘Russian meddling.’
“When we can save many, many, many lives by making a deal with Russia having to do with Syria, and then ultimately getting Syria solved, and getting Ukraine solved, and doing other things, having a good relationship with Russia is a great, great thing,” Trump said. “And this artificial Democratic hit job gets in the way. It gets in the way. And that’s a shame. Because people will die because of it, and it’s a pure hit job, and it’s artificially induced. And that’s shame.”
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