Trump: Putin 'probably' involved in assassinations

Trump: Putin 'probably' involved in assassinations
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President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE on Sunday admitted Russian President Vladimir Putin was "probably" involved in assassinations and poisonings, but those crimes were "not in our country."

Lesley Stahl on CBS's "60 Minutes" pressed Trump over his unusually warm relationship with Putin, whom he often declines to criticize publicly. 


"Do you agree that Vladimir Putin is involved in assassinations? In poisonings?" Stahl asked Trump.

"Probably he is, yeah," he said. "But I rely on them. It’s not in our country." 

"They shouldn't do it," Stahl replied. "This is a terrible thing." 

Trump agreed "of course" the Russian government should not order assassinations and poisonings.

Putin has been accused of ordering the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, whom he recently called a "scumbag." Though U.K. officials said Russian military officials carried out the attack against Skripal, the Kremlin has denied involvement. 

Many of the Russian president's critics or dissidents have been killed under suspicious circumstances. 

When Stahl segued into a question about the Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Trump said he believes Russia meddled but "China meddled too." 

Stahl pressed him for evidence to back up the accusation against China, which he was not able to provide. 

"You are diverting the whole Russia thing," Stahl said.

"I'm not doing anything," the president said. 

Trump was slammed by critics and allies alike over his performance at the joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki over the summer, during which Trump appeared to cast doubt on Russia's involvement in hacking the 2016 elections. The U.S. intelligence community has unanimously concluded that Russia sought to sway the results of the presidential election in favor of Trump.

Trump and Putin met alone before the press conference. During the "60 Minutes" interview, he said he was "tough" on the Russian leader during that meeting.