Trump: Putin was insulted by US election interference claims
US President Donald Trump said his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin felt insulted by allegations of Russia's interference in the US presidential elections. Trump's statement came after he briefly met Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam. Trump said Putin told he "absolutely did not meddle in our election." The US Justice Department and FBI are investigating the allegations.
"He (Putin) said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again," Trump told reporters. Trump said he believed Putin was "very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country." Putin later said the allegations of Russia's meddling through collusion with Trump's campaign were "absurd" and "fantasies" which are "a manifestation of continuing domestic political struggle."
Meanwhile, the Russian Kremlin said Putin and Trump have agreed to fight ISIS in Syria until the group is defeated. It said both leaders had "agreed that the conflict in Syria has no military solution." They confirmed their "determination to defeat ISIS" and urged all other parties to participate in the Geneva peace process. There's been no confirmation about the statement by the US.
Both leaders also reportedly vowed to maintain existing channels of communication between the Russian and American militaries in Syria to prevent "serious incidents involving the forces of partners combating IS [ISIS]."
Russia is the biggest ally of President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government. The US, which leads the Western opposition to the Russia-Assad regime alliance, has been backing Syrian Arab and Kurdish rebels in Syria. It has also carried out attacks against the Syrian regime. However, both sides have found a common enemy in ISIS. ISIS has suffered a series of defeats in Iraq and Syria.