Trump warns Russia not to meddle in U.S. elections: White House

Trump warns Russia not to meddle in U.S. elections: White House
  • Clock-gray 06:06
  • calendar-gray 11 December 2019

President Donald Trump warned Russia not to interfere in U.S. elections in talks with Russia’s top diplomat on Tuesday, the White House said, after meetings where the two sides made no visible progress on nuclear arms control, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow wanted to publish U.S.-Russian communications that he said cleared Russia of allegations it meddled in the 2016 U.S. election but that Washington had blocked their release. 

Speaking at a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Lavrov said the contacts were with former President Barack Obama’s administration but did not provide details on them. He repeated Russian denials of interference. 

Lavrov also renewed Moscow’s offer to extend the U.S.-Russia New START arms control treaty, while Trump and Pompeo stressed the need for a strategic dialogue that also included China. 

The bilateral meetings took place as Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives announced impeachment charges against Trump that accuse him of abusing power by pressuring Ukraine to probe a political rival and obstructing the subsequent Congress investigation. 

Lavrov’s visit revived questions about whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power, and whether it might do so again in 2020. 

“President Trump warned against any Russian attempts to interfere in United States elections,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement on Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Lavrov. 

Told about the White House statement, Lavrov, speaking through an interpreter at a solo evening news conference, said: “You know, we haven’t even actually discussed elections.” 

Trump had also urged Russia to resolve the conflict with Ukraine, Deere said. 

Relations between Ukraine and Russia collapsed following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. A separate, more than five-year conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 13,000 people and left a large swathe of Ukraine de facto controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.


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