Russian state media: Trump and Putin talked cybersecurity, Syria

Russian president Vladmir Putin told state media outlets that he and President Trump discussed cybersecurity, Syria and Ukraine in a Friday meeting at an economic summit in Germany.

It is likely the “cybersecurity” aspect of the conversation included Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which included an email hacking campaign against the top Democratic campaign arm in the U.S.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the meeting said Trump confronted Putin about the election interference during the meeting.

Democrats have been angered by Trump’s reluctance to accept the conclusions of his top Intelligence agencies that Russia sought to sow discord in the election by targeting his challenger, Hillary Clinton, through an email hacking campaign.

The Moscow-backed news agency Sputnik received the first remarks about the conversation from Putin.

“I had a very lengthy conversation with the president of the United States, there were a lot of issues, such as Ukraine, Syria, other problems, some bilateral issues,” Putin said.

“We again returned to the issues of fighting terrorism and cybersecurity,” he added, according to Sputnik.

The U.S. and Russia have been at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

During the meeting, The Associated Press reported that the U.S. and Russia, which have been on opposing sides in the Syrian civil war, agreed on a cease-fire in the southwest corner of the country.

In Ukraine, the U.S. is pushing to implement the 2015 Minsk agreement to halt fighting in the eastern Donbass region. 

Ukraine’s government has accused Moscow of supporting pro-Russian separatists there, although the Kremlin denies it. 

The planned 30-minute meeting between Trump and Putin at the G-20 Summit, their first-ever personal encounter, ran for 2 hours and 16 minutes, as protests raged on the streets outside. 

The meeting was small. In addition to Trump and Putin, only Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and two interpreters were present.

Trump has said he wants warmer U.S.-Russian relations, citing his desire for Russia’s assistance in the ongoing war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Pool reporters captured video of the two shaking hands and sitting in white seats next to one another before the meeting. Both leaned forward in their chairs and seemed at ease.

“We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia, and for the United States and for everybody concerned,” Trump said. “It’s an honor to be with you.”

“I’m delighted to be able to meet you personally Mr. President,” Putin said. “And I hope, as you have said, our meeting will yield positive result.”

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