Trump condemns Russia probe after Putin talks

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HELSINKI  —President Donald Trump says the Russia investigation has been a “disaster” for the United States and has kept America and Russia “separated.”

Speaking during a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, he reiterated that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and the Russian government.

Trump says he ran a “clean campaign” and he beat his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton “easily.” The president says it’s a “shame” there is a cloud over his administration. He says he ran a “brilliant campaign and that’s why I’m president.”

Putin pushed back against claims that his government interfered in the U.S. election. He says there’s “no evidence when it comes to the actual facts.”

Trump and  Putin said they are exploring ways to protect Israel from conflict raging near its border in Syria.

The two leaders did not commit to any specific actions, but both said that ensuring Israel’s security was a priority.

Israel is deeply concerned about Iran’s presence in Syria, where Iranian forces and proxies have been fighting on behalf of the Syrian government, which is also supported by Russia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appealed to both Trump and Putin to eliminate the Iranian presence, which the Jewish state regards as an existential threat.

Putin said  he and  Trump have agreed to continue detailed discussions on arms control issues.

Putin said Russia and the U.S. should discuss a possible extension of the 2010 New START nuclear arms reduction treaty and the implementation of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Putin added that other issues that Russia would like to discuss in the arms control sphere are the U.S. missile defense plans and the weaponization of space.

 

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