Pompeo: ‘No mistake’ Trump warned Russian diplomat about election tampering
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday insisted that President Trump and a Russian diplomat discussed election interference at a recent White House meeting despite the Russian official’s claims to the contrary.
Asked by a reporter whether Trump had brought up the issue of Russian election interference and made clear that the U.S. would not accept future meddling, Pompeo said that he had.
“I will leave to the White House to give the details of what is said. I never talk about what the President says in those private settings, but I can tell you that Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov’s statement is not accurately a reflection of my recollection of that meeting,” Pompeo told reporters.
“[T]here is no mistake that President Trump made clear in the meeting that he had with Foreign Minister Lavrov and the rest of the Russian team that was there that President Trump personally, and America, finds their meddling in our elections unacceptable in the very same way that I had said it earlier to Foreign Minister Lavrov,” he continued.
Pompeo’s remarks come after Lavrov told reporters during a press conference at the Russian embassy in Washington that he and Trump “haven’t even actually discussed elections,” and did not discuss the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the president during their meeting Tuesday.
Trump himself claimed to have had discussed “election meddling” with Lavrov in a tweet with a picture of the two men Tuesday afternoon.
“Just had a very good meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and representatives of Russia,” the president wrote. “Discussed many items including Trade, Iran, North Korea, INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and Election Meddling. Look forward to continuing our dialogue in the near future!”
Just had a very good meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and representatives of Russia. Discussed many items including Trade, Iran, North Korea, INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and Election Meddling. Look forward to continuing our dialogue in the near future! pic.twitter.com/tHecH9a9ck
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019