Trump on whether he holds Putin responsible for election meddling: “I would, because he’s in charge of the country”
Last Updated Jul 18, 2018 6:04 PM EDT
President Trump told “CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor Wednesday it’s “true” Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and he “would” hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for interference.
Mr. Trump, in an exclusive interview with Glor, said he has stated “numerous times before” that he agrees Russia meddled in the 2016 election. The president’s comments come after his widely criticized press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, in which Mr. Trump appeared to say he had no reason to believe Russia interfered, which would contradict the findings of multiple U.S. intelligence agencies. Mr. Trump when he said that, and he accepts the findings of his intelligence agencies.
Here is the exchange between Mr. Trump and Glor:
GLOR: “You say you agree with U.S. intelligence that Russia meddled in the election in 2016.”
TRUMP: “Yeah and I’ve said that before, Jeff. I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah.”
GLOR: “But you haven’t condemned Putin, specifically. Do you hold him personally responsible?”
TRUMP: “Well, I would, because he’s in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes.”
GLOR: “What did you say to him?”
TRUMP: “Very strong on the fact that we can’t have meddling, we can’t have any of that – now look. We’re also living in a grown-up world. Will a strong statement — you know — President Obama supposedly made a strong statement – nobody heard it. What they did hear is a statement he made to Putin’s very close friend. And that statement was not acceptable. Didn’t get very much play relatively speaking. But that statement was not acceptable. But I let him know we can’t have this, we’re not going to have it, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”
More of the interview will air at 6:30 p.m. EDT on “CBS Evening News.”
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