HAMBURG, GERMANY. Friday, July 7, 2017:
United States President Donald Trump confronted his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin over allegations that Russia interfered with last year’s presidential elections.
The two met during the G 20 summit here, with only their foreign ministers and interpreters in the room. Putin reportedly denied Russia’s interference in the elections with reports surfacing in Russia later that Trump accepted Putin’s denial.
There was no immediate reaction from the White House verifying the accuracy of the Jump’s reported acceptance of Putin’s denial. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson who provided some details of the meeting said President Trump “pressed Putin on the matter the moment the meeting began.”
No prior indication had been given by the administration that Trump was planning to raise the issue with Putin. Despite irrefutable evidence by multiple US intelligence of Russia’s involvement in the elections, Trump has consistently sought to undercut the findings of his own intelligence agencies.
Speaking at a news conference in Warsaw Poland a few days earlier he said “I believe it was Russia, but it could be another country or some individual,” he said when asked about the matter.” There were no discussions regarding sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration according to sources familiar with the meeting.
The Russian issue has overshadowed the Trump presidency and is being investigated by special council Robert Muller, a former FBI Director who was appointed shortly after Trump fired Director James Comey in May.
The US president has repeatedly denied that there was any involvement between his campaign and Russia during the elections. Meanwhile, protests — some violent — broke out at the G 20 meeting on the streets of this German City, as thousands demonstrated against the ills of the world and those leaders they blamed for such problems.
Many directed their anger at the US president, as police used water cannons and tear gas to break up some of the protests.
For the most part, the demonstrations were peaceful, but in many instances, protestors lit fires and threw debris at police officers.