Administration

Trump says no sanctions talk with Putin, contradicting Tillerson's account

President Trump on Sunday said he did not discuss new U.S. sanctions against Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, contradicting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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

Tillerson, however, told reporters Friday that Trump told Putin that U.S. lawmakers were pushing for new sanctions on Russia, according to the Washington Post.

"But the two presidents, I think, rightly focused on: How do we move forward?" Tillerson said.

The first meeting between Trump and Putin took place last Friday with only six people in the room: Trump, Putin, Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and two translators.

In a series of tweets about the meeting early Sunday, Trump said he "strongly pressed" Putin on Russia's interference in last year's U.S. election, but the Russian leader "vehemently denied it."

Trump added that he and Putin discussed forming a "cyber security unit" to fight election hacking.

That move quickly drew condemnation from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who said it would be akin to partnering with Syrian President Bashar Assad on a chemical weapons unit.

 

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