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Trump-Putin at G20
President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Tillerson said Trump ‘pressed’ Putin on election meddling


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Trump “pressed” Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential race during their meeting Friday.

“[They] had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject,” he told reporters after the pair’s meeting at the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Hamburg, Germany, according to Politico.

Tillerson added that Putin denied Russia meddled in any way with last year’s presidential campaign.

The scheduled 30-minute talk between Trump and Putin, the pair’s first personal encounter, ended up lasting for two hours and 16 minutes.

Some Twitter users on Friday questioned whether Tillerson’s account of the meeting was accurate.

Other people on the social media platform defended Tillerson’s recounting, which came amid the 12th annual G20 Summit.

Speculation raged this week on whether Trump would broach the issue of Russia’s alleged intrusions in last year’s presidential race.

Trump on Thursday admitted Russia may have meddled in the 2016 campaign before suggesting other parties may have been involved.

“I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries,” he said during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

“Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure. It was Russia, and I think it was probably others also, and that’s been going on for a long period of time.”

The FBI and several congressional committees are currently probing Russian interference in the 2016 race, including possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s election campaign.

Trump has repeatedly derided the investigations, characterizing them as a “witch hunt” against him and his administration.

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