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Trump: "I Strongly Pressed Putin On Election Meddling, He Vehemently Denied; Time To Move Forward"

Following the first meeting between President Trump and President Putin, in which the issue of cybersecurity and Russian "interference" in the US election was a prominent topic, there was one unanswered question: did Trump accept Russia's "assertions" that it did not interfere in the voting process.

Recall that in his post meeting briefing, Rex Tillerson said Trump repeatedly pressed Putin regarding possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.  “The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance on the ability of us to move Russian-U.S. relationships forward and agreed to exchange further work regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries." On the other Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov implied the topic was brief and not contentious. "U.S. President Trump said that he heard firm assertions from Russian President Putin that it is not true and that Russian authorities have not meddled in the elections," Lavrov said. “[Trump] said that he accepts these assertions. That's it.”

So, perhaps to address any outstanding loose ends, Trump took to Twitter early on Sunday, and in a series of tweets gave his perspective on the controversial subject, said he "strongly pressed" Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit on Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

"I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion....." Trump tweeted and added "we negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!" he added.

I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

...We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

However, as The Hill notes, Trump did not say whether he accepted Putin's denial, however, as Lavrov had claimed. On Saturday, top White House officials did not refute Putin's claims that Trump seemed satisfied with the Russian leader's denial that the Kremlin did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

“We are not going to make comments about what other people say. President Trump will be happy to make statements himself about that," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters aboard Air Force One. "It was very clear he made his position felt and after very substantive dialogue on this, they agreed to move on to other discussions."

Furthermore, as discussed previously, during a press conference earlier on Saturday Putin said he believes Trump is convinced by his denial about how his state did not interfere.

On this same topic, speaking in Poland last week, Trump said that he thinks Russia and "people in other countries" likely meddled in the 2016 presidential race, but "nobody really knows."

"I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries," Trump said during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. "It could have been a lot of people interfered."

As such, Trump's "post-mortem" will likely not satisfy the US media which is seeking closure on whether Trump does or does not agree with the Russian take of events.

Trump continued his Sunday tweetstorm saying that he and Putin “discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit” so that election hacking and “many other negative things” will be guarded and safe.

The president then deflected the narrative and said that "wuestions were asked about why the CIA & FBI had to ask the DNC 13 times for their SERVER, and were rejected, still don't have it. Fake News said 17 intel agencies when actually 4 (had to apologize). Why did Obama do NOTHING when he had info before election?"

...and safe. Questions were asked about why the CIA & FBI had to ask the DNC 13 times for their SERVER, and were rejected, still don't....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

...have it. Fake News said 17 intel agencies when actually 4 (had to apologize). Why did Obama do NOTHING when he had info before election?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

In his last tweet (so far), Trump concluded that "sanctions were not discussed at my meeting with President Putin" following a Friday report that Putin had confronted Trump over sanctions in global trade: Oreshkin and asserted that "Nothing will be done until the Ukrainian & Syrian problems are solved!"

Sanctions were not discussed at my meeting with President Putin. Nothing will be done until the Ukrainian & Syrian problems are solved!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)