Just minutes after he left journalists, lawmakers and former government officials in shock when he sided with Russia during a freewheeling press conference with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump doubled down on his support of Putin’s denial of Russian meddled in the 2016 election.
Recounting his one-on-one conversation with Putin during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity after the presser, Trump lamented that the Russia probe had placed a “wedge” between the U.S. and Russia
“It is very sad what is happening to our country because of this,” he said. “When you see this thing going on and I will tell you, it has driven a wedge between us and Russia, maybe we’ve just knocked down that wedge, but it has driven a wedge and President Putin said, one of the early things that he said when we started, it’s really a shame because we could do so much good.”
Trump doubles down on Putin's denial of election meddling: The Russia probe has "driven a wedge between us and Russia." pic.twitter.com/slJexVRTyW
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 17, 2018
He also grumbled that journalists chose to ask questions about special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe during the press conference, when they could’ve asked about “nuclear proliferation” or humanitarian aid in Syria.
“And we get questions on the witch hunt and I don’t think the people out in the country buy it, but the reporters like to give it a shot,” he said. “I thought that President Putin was very, very strong. … And he also said there’s absolutely no collusion, which you know and everybody that watches your show knows, and I think most of the country knows and and Tucker [Carlson] standing right over there definitely knows because he gets it.”