Donald Trump says Putin again denied 2016 election meddling
President Donald Trump says Russia President Vladimir Putin once again denied meddling in the 2016 election during their conversations Saturday at a summit in Vietnam.
US president Donald Trump on Saturday said Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin told him that "he didn't meddle" in US elections that propelled the billionaire former reality star to the White House.
Trump's relationship with Moscow has stalked the first year of his presidency, with key former aides under a US investigation for alleged collaboration with the Kremlin.
Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate are under house arrest on charges including conspiracy to launder money, linked to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations that the campaign colluded with Russia.
The US leader had "two or three" brief conversations with Putin on the margins of the APEC summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang, Trump told reporters on Air Force One on the way to a state visit in Hanoi.
"He (Putin) said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again," he said.
"You can only ask so many times... He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election."
Trump explained that Putin reiterates his denial "every time" the pair meet, adding his counterpart seems "very insulted" by the persistent allegations.
But he would not be drawn on whether he believes the Russian strongman.
Social media giants Twitter and Facebook have said paid for and free content with Russian links carrying divisive election related messages spun across their platforms ahead of the crunch poll.
TRUMP: THE AGREEMENT WILL SAVE MANY LIVES IN SYRIA
Trump said that an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Syria would save many lives after the two met at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
"We agreed very quickly," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew from the APEC meeting in the resort city of Danang to Vietnam's capital Hanoi. "It's going to save tremendous numbers of lives."
The Kremlin earlier said Trump and Putin had agreed on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that a political solution was needed on Syria and that they would continue efforts to fight Daesh.
Trump said a good relationship with Russia was important.
"In fact it would be a great thing ... because he could really help us in North Korea. We have a big problem with North Korea and China is helping us," Trump said. "If Russia helped us in addition to China that problem would go away a lot faster."
Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping was a good man who "wants to do right," but he wanted Xi to ratchet up more pressure on North Korea.