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Trump Says He 'Gave Up Nothing' At Summit With Putin


U.S. President Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump says he "gave up nothing" at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggesting he made no concessions or agreements that might be detrimental to U.S. interests.

In a tweet on July 23, Trump also said he and Putin "got along very well, which is a good thing," and accused what he called the "Corrupt Media" of putting a negative spin on the summit.

Putin and other Russian officials have said that Trump and Putin reached several agreements at the July 16 summit in Helsinki, their first full-fledged meeting since Trump took office on January 2017.

U.S. officials have not described any substantial agreements and have given few details about talks at the summit, which included a one-on-one meeting with only interpreters present, leaving critics of Trump concerned that he may have made unwise deals.

"When you hear the Fake News talking negatively about my meeting with President Putin, and all that I gave up, remember, I gave up NOTHING, we merely talked about future benefits for both countries," Trump tweeted.

Earlier on July 23, Trump posted a tweet that seemed to contradict a recent statement in which he said he accepted the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the election he won.

Trump wrote that his predecessor, Barack Obama, knew about allegations of Russian meddling before the November 2016 vote.

"Why didn't he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that's why," Trump wrote.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later said that Trump was referring to the issue of whether his campaign colluded with Russia, not to the alleged Russian meddling itself.

"Obviously the president is talking about the collusion with his campaign," Sanders said. "He's been very clear that there wasn't any. I think he's said it about 1,000 times."

In December 2016, between Trump's election and his inauguration, Obama said that he had told Putin in September 2016 "cut it out" in a reference to cyberattacks targeting the U.S. electoral process.

Obama said his administration sought to avoid politicizing the issue of Russian hacking from the White House due to concerns that such actions might be seen as a partisan attack.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that released a report in January 2017 saying they concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a hacking-and-propaganda campaign targeting the election.

After he drew strong criticism from U.S. lawmakers and others after appearing to side with Putin on the issue at their summit on July 16, Trump said he accepts that the "intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place,"

However, he added: "It could be other people also. A lot of people out there," and Democrats in Congress dismissed the statement acknowledging Russia interfered in the election as political damage control.

U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the alleged Russian meddling as well as any possible collusion by Trump's campaign.

Trump denies there was any collusion and has described Mueller's probe as a "witch hunt" intended to detract from his election victory.

Russia claims it did not interfere in the election.

Three days before the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, U.S. authorities charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers whom they accuse of direct involvement in the election-meddling efforts.

With reporting by AP and Politico
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