President Donald Trump, following his first summit Monday with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, refused to accuse him of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump sidestepped the matter during a private meeting he had in Helsinki with Putin.
However, during a joint press conference followed, while Trump was asked if he believed Putin or his own intelligence community, which has found that Russia meddled in the election, the president failed to directly answer.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said as Putin stood several feet away.
Trump, who went on to bring up the matter of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 email scandal, added that he saw no reason why Russia would interfere in America’s elections.