Bolton says Putin denied meddling by "Russian state" in private meeting

First Trump Putin summit has Cold War backdrop US allies nervous

The Russian government is prepared to refute its meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election when President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sit down for their first official summit next month, a Kremlin spokesman said Friday.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on his way to New Jersey, Trump also said he would discuss the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and other global issues with Putin during the July 16 summit.

Bolton, who before joining the White House said on television that Putin lied to Trump, said he hasn't changed his mind about Russia's involvement.

The national security adviser had said previous year, before joining the Trump White House, that Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election was "act of war" and warned: "We negotiate with Russian Federation at our peril".

During the flight Friday to his New Jersey golf resort, Trump was also asked to preview next month's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels. "I'm sure the president will want to pursue it", said Bolton. The president has been critical of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, suggesting that other member nations do not contribute enough to the alliance and that the United States carries too much of the burden.

"I don't think it's unusual for President Trump and President Putin to meet", Bolton told reporters in Moscow. The president also suggested that Russian Federation, which was kicked out of the group after it annexed Crimea in 2014, be invited back into the organization.

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"I don't read the way he conducted these meetings the same way", Bolton told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.

After Trump and Putin met briefly in Vietnam in November 2017, Trump was criticized in the United States for saying he believed Putin when he denied Russian meddling. The president has repeatedly minimized the conclusion of the US intelligence community that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election to help him win.

"I don't think anybody ought to have a case of the vapors". "We've armed the Ukraine, we've imposed sanctions, we've kicked out diplomats, but the idea that Russian Federation did not meddle in our election is fake news".

The Kremlin leader, on the other hand, can expect to gain a great deal from a Russia-US summit.

"We're going to have to see", Trump said when asked about the matters by reporters on Air Force One on June 29.

"Given the nature of the Russian system, I don't think we're going to find out until the two leaders get together".

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