HANOI, Nov. 12 – U.S. President Donald Trump tried to clarify his stand here on Sunday on whether he believed Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election last year.
At a joint press conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang here on Sunday, Trump tried to distance himself from his previous remarks by saying that he believed his intelligence agencies.
On Saturday in Vietnam’s Da Nang city, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Trump that he did not meddle with the election, and then Trump told reporters he believed Putin.
Trump’s remarks drew criticism back home for choosing Putin’s side over the U.S. intelligence agencies, as they have long claimed Russia meddled in U.S. presidential election in 2016.
“I believe that he (Putin) feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I am with our agencies,” Trump said, adding that he believed in U.S. intelligence agencies.
However, Trump also said stronger U.S. ties with Russia would benefit the world because many matters need resolving with the participation of such countries as Russia and China, including those on the Korean Peninsula, Syria, Ukraine and terrorism.
The U.S. president said he believed “having Russia in a friendly posture as opposed to always fighting them is an asset.”
“People don’t realize that Russia has been very, very heavily sanctioned,” Trump said.
“It’s now time to get back to healing a world that is shattered and broken,” the U.S. president said.
After wrapping up his first state visit to Vietnam, Trump left Hanoi for Manila to attend the 31st ASEAN summit.
(Copyright Xinhua, received through National News Agency)