Donald Trump says he looks forward to second meeting with Vladimir Putin

US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, lashed out Thursday after days of criticism over Trump's apparent failure to blame Russia for interference in the 2016 US election.
US President Donald Trump (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin appear at a joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.
US President Donald Trump (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin appear at a joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - United States President Donald Trump said on Thursday (July 19) he looked forward to his second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that the first meeting was a success despite howls of criticism at home and abroad.

Mr Trump, who has struggled to quiet a political uproar over his failure at Monday's summit in Helsinki to confront Mr Putin over Russia's meddling in the 2016 US election, renewed his fierce criticism of one of his favourite targets, the news media.

The Republican president accused the media of distorting comments in which he gave credence to Mr Putin's denials of election interference despite the conclusions of the American intelligence community about Moscow's conduct.

"The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

"I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more," Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump drew a barrage of criticism in the US, including from lawmakers in both parties, after he refused to blame Mr Putin for the election meddling. Mr Putin has denied such interference.

The Republican president later said he had misspoken and accused "some people" of hating the fact that he got along with Mr Putin.

 
 

In Moscow, Mr Putin accused forces in the US of trying to undermine the success of his meeting with Mr Trump, but said the two leaders had begun to improve US-Russia ties anyway.

Mr Putin, speaking to Russian diplomats from around the world, said the Helsinki summit had been successful.

"It was successful overall and led to some useful agreements. Of course, let's see how events will develop further," he said, without disclosing the nature of the agreements he referred to.