Intel Dem asks Trump to refute Russian version of Putin meeting

Rep. Eric Swallwell (D-Calif.) on Friday called on President Trump to clarify conflicting reports of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 Summit. 

Trump and Putin met for the first time Friday in a meeting that went more than an hour longer than originally planned.

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Russian and U.S. officials had different accounts of the meeting afterward.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov claimed after the meeting that Trump “accepted” Putin’s assertion that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election. His statement is at odds with what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said about the meeting. 

Tillerson said Trump opened the conversation with Putin by confronting him over Russian cyberattacks during the campaign. The top U.S. diplomat claimed Trump continued to press Putin on the matter despite the Russian president’s repeated denials.

In an interview later Friday, Schiff said Trump needed to clarify what actually happened.

“If it’s true that the president accepted Vladimir Putin’s account, then we should know that,” Swalwell said. “But the president’s silence, as far as I’m concerned, tells us everything we need to know, which is the Russian account is the only account that’s out there right now.” 

Swallwell said that “there’s an opportunity… to refute what the foreign minister has said" but "the ball is in the president’s court."