Conway: Trump Wants To Discuss ‘Major Issues’ With Putin, Not Election Meddling

Photo by C.B. Schmelter / White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway looks on during a press conference at CADAS on Thursday, July 6, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Conway, along with Gov. Bill Haslam, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price, Judge Duane Slone and recovering opioid addict and mother of three Mallie Moore spoke on the opioid crisis.
C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Sunday said President Donald Trump wants to “deal with” Russian President Vladimir Putin on “major issues,” not including Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“The President is not the chairman of the board of elections in this country,” Conway said on ABC News’ “This Week. “He’s the President of the United States.”

She said Trump “wants to deal with President Putin” and other heads of state “on major issues like global security, on trade, perhaps in other countries, on combating ISIS, on a nuclearized North Korea.”

Trump on Saturday said he “really” believed that Putin “means it” when the Russian leader tells Trump that Russia “did not meddle in our election.”

“Every time he sees me, he said: ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia did interfere in the U.S. election to aid Trump’s campaign.

“What the President believes is most important here. He believes the assessment of the intelligence communities,” Conway said Sunday, though Trump has questioned their conclusions. “And he stands by that.”

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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