Tillerson: Putin Asked Trump For Proof Of Russia's Interference In The 2016 Election

Update: As part of the 2+ hour discussion between presidents Trump and Putin, AP reports that the Russian president asked for "proof and evidence" of Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 election which Russia denies. The request was made after Trump confronted Putin about Moscow's election meddling during their first face-to-face meeting in Germany on Friday, according to Rex Tillerson who was present in the meeting. The secretary of state told reporters afterward that Trump opened the conversation by “raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

Putin once again denied Russian involvement, Tillerson said, but Trump “pressed” him on the matter “on more than one occasion.”

'President Putin denied such involvement as I think he has in the past,' he continued.

The Russians, speaking after the meeting, claimed that Trump accepted the denial - but Tillerson did not. Instead he said the issue may simply be an 'intractable disagreement.'  Tillerson also said the Russians pushed Trump for proof and evidence of meddling, something which the president himself had doubted in public as recently as Thursday.

"The president at this point pressed him and felt like at this point, let’s talk about how do we go forward,' Tillerson said.  

Trump and Putin agreed to explore a “framework” around which they can work to better understand these types of cyberthreats, the U.S. diplomat said.

“The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance on the ability of us to move Russian-U.S. relationships forward and agreed to exchange further work ?regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries,” Tillerson said. “So more work to be done in that regard.”

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who was in the meeting, said afterward that Trump accepted Putin's assurances that Russia didn't interfere in the election.  But Tillerson, who has publicly called out Russia for election interference in the past, said he was 'not dismissing the issue in any way' and did not echo that language. 

The secretary of state acknowledged that Putin’s insistence that Russia did not interfere would leave the two countries at an impasse, at least for now. “It's not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations,” he said.

“So the question is, what do we do now?”

We are confident that the US press, which will not let this topic drop, will come up with some suggestions.

* * *

Earlier

Following their first ever, 2+ hour meeting which was originally supposed to last only 30-40 minutes, the question on everyone's mind was what did the two discuss.

So, in addition to the previously discussed ceasefire agreement in Southwest Syria unexpectedly announced by the two nations, speaking at the beginning of his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Vladimir Putin said that during his first meeting with US President Donald Trump, the two discussed Syria, Ukraine, counterterrorism, and drumroll, the "fight against cyber crime."

"I had a very lengthy conversation with the President of the United States, there were a lot of issues such as Ukraine, Syria, other problems, some bilateral issues", according to Interfax news agency. "We again returned to the issues of fighting terrorism and cybersecurity," Putin added.

Elaborating after the meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump repeatedly pressed Putin on the matter over the course of their meeting (see below for details).

Putin denied Russia’s involvement, and according to a parallel comment from Russia's Sergey Lavrov, "Trump accepted Putin's assurance of no election hacking."

Or as Interfax put it:

  • TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGES ANTI-RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN IN U.S. ALREADY LOOKING ODD, THAT HE ACCEPTS PUTIN'S STATEMENTS ON THIS MATTER - LAVROV: IFX

However, it appears Lavrov may have taken some artistic liberty, because according to NBC's chief White House correspondent, one administration official has said Lavrov's comment is "not accurate"

Additionally, Tillerson also discussed the ceasefire deal in Syria:

"A cease-fire has been entered into," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters. This is the "first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria," he said.

Until now, Putin and Trump had only spoken on the phone. They were not alone: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were also present at the talks.

* * *

Earlier, during the press photo session, Trump told the media that "President Putin and I have been discussing various things, and I think it's going very well."

“We've had some very, very good talks, we are going to have a talk now and obviously that will continue,” Trump added, saying there are hopes of “a lot of very positive things happening.”

“It's an honor to be with you, thank you,” Trump concluded, offering his hand to Putin.

"I’m delighted to be able to meet you personally Mr. President,” Putin countered. “And I hope, as you have said, our meeting will yield positive result."

“Spasibo [thank you],” the US leader added in Russian.

Addressing Trump, Putin then said that although the two leaders have “several times talked over the phone, including on some very important bilateral and international issues,” phone talks were “obviously not enough.” Meetings in person are “necessary” if the two countries want to resolve the “most pressing issues,” Putin added.

* * *

Finally, some additional details first from Rex Tillerson, courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • TILLERSON: U.S., RUSSIA, JORDAN REACHED CEASEFIRE IN SW SYRIA
  • RUSSIA HAS SAME INTEREST IN STABLE SYRIA AS U.S.: TILLERSON
  • TRUMP NOTED SANCTIONS BILL ONGOING IN PUTIN TALKS: TILLERSON
  • NO LONG-TERM ROLE FOR ASSAD, HIS FAMILY, IN SYRIA: TILLERSON
  • RUSSIA-U.S. DIFFERENCES IN TACTICS, PACE, ON N.KOREA: TILLERSON
  • TILLERSON SAYS TRUMP & PUTIN HAD A GOOD EXCHANGE ON #NORTHKOREA; RUSSIANS SEE IT DIFFERENTLY THAN THE U.S. DOES: RTRS
  • TILLERSON SAYS IT IS NOT CLEAR U.S. OR RUSSIA WILL EVER COME TO A RESOLUTION ON THE QUESTION ABOUT ELECTION INTERFERENCE: RTRS

About the bromance between the two:

  • TRUMP, PUTIN CONNECTED QUICKLY, `POSITIVE CHEMISTRY': TILLERSON
  • TILLERSON SAYS NEITHER LEADER WANTED TO STOP MEETING, U.S. FIRST LADY CAME IN AT ONE POINT TO TRY TO GET THEM TO CONCLUDE: RTRS

And the punchline:

  • TRUMP RAISED ELECTION MEDDLING, PUTIN DENIED ROLE: TILLERSON
  • TRUMP ACCEPTED PUTIN'S ASSURANCE OF NO ELECTION HACKING: LAVROV

And here is the conversation from the Russian side, in this case Sergey Lavrov, as reported by Interfax:

  • PUTIN, TRUMP HAD VERY CONCRETE CONVERSATION - LAVROV
  • LAVROV SAYS HE AND TILLERSON ASKED TO CONTINUE DIALOGUE ON ALL INT'L ISSUES, INCLUDING N. KOREA
  • LAVROV: THERE IS UNDERSTANDING ON THREE DE-ESCALATION ZONES IN SYRIA, DIALOGUE CONTINUING ON NORTHERN ZONE
  • LAVROV: U.S. AIMS AT IMPLEMENTATION OF MINSK AGREEMENTS - LAVROV
  • LAVROV: CONTACTS WITH TRUMP, TILLERSON SHOWED NO SIGN OF U.S. DEPARTING FROM MINSK ACCORDS
  • LAVROV: PUTIN, TRUMP AGREE ON CREATION OF BILATERAL WORKING GROUP FOR DEVELOPMENT OF INTERACTION ON BROAD RANGE OF ISSUES, INCLUDING CYBER SECURITY
  • LAVROV: WE WILL CONTINUE SEEKING SOLUTION TO PROBLEM OF RUSSIAN DIPLOMATIC PROPERTY IN U.S
  • RUSSIA, U.S. AGREE TO SPEED UP THEIR AMBASSADOR APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES - LAVROV
  • LAVROV: STATE SOVEREIGNTY TO BE ENSURED IN CREATION OF DE-ESCALATION ZONE IN SOUTHERN SYRIA
  • LAVROV: WE HOPE U.S. ENVOY FOR UKRAINE WILL ARRIVE IN MOSCOW FOR CONSULTATIONS SOON
  • LAVROV: AGREEMENT REACHED TO CREATE RUSSIAN-U.S. CHANNEL FOR UKRAINIAN SETTLEMENT
  • LAVROV: SECURITY IN DE-ESCALATION ZONE IN SOUTHERN SYRIA WILL BE ENSURED USING RUSSIAN POLICE, U.S. AND JORDANIAN FORCES
  • LAVROV: RUSSIAN, U.S. EXPERTS IN JORDAN ON FRIDAY FINISHED WORK OF AGREEING ON DE-ESCALATION AREAS IN SOUTHWEST SYRIA
  • LAVROV: PUTIN AND TRUMP ARE DRIVEN BY NATIONAL INTERESTS, AIM AT MUTUAL AGREEMENTS
  • TRUCE IN SOUTHERN SYRIA TO BE EFFECTIVE FROM MIDNIGHT JULY 9 - LAVROV
  • LAVROV: PUTIN, TRUMP DEMONSTRATED THAT THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF CREATING PROBLEMS OUT OF NOTHING FOR TWO COUNTRIES

And the only line that matters on this side:

  • TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGES ANTI-RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN IN U.S. ALREADY LOOKING ODD, THAT HE ACCEPTS PUTIN'S STATEMENTS ON THIS MATTER - LAVROV

In summary: Putin denied hacking the US election, and "Trump accepted Putin's assurance" at least according to the Russian side. We now await the howls of outrage from the US media.

Comments

PrayingMantis Blue Balls (not verified) Fri, 07/07/2017 - 14:37 Permalink

 ... the planned 30-40-min meeting stretched to 2+ hours perhaps so they could talk about how to "carve" Syria into various "states" (since the US already has a modern airport in the Northern reaches of the beleaguered and oppressed sovereign country without the consent and permission of Syria's Al Assad >>> http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960415000266) ...... and how not to hit any of their "flying objects" (jets and drones) trying to keep their respective MIC and banksters happy funding all these war toys ...... and the oppressors, at the behest of their (((Red Shield))) masters and its BIS central banks' ownership of all worldwide central banks (with the exception of Iran, Syria, North Korea and Cuba), might just be pulling the necessary strings on how to divide the residual loot they'd get when Syria falls ...... the ((( Red Shield snake ))) is poised to strike again ... ... meanwhile, attention Linux users ... "WikiLeaks Exposes CIA Targeting Linux Users With OutlawCountry Network Traffic Re-Routing Tool" ... >>> https://hothardware.com/news/wikileaks-exposes-cia-targeting-linux-users-with-outlawcountry-network-traffic-re-routing-tool ......

In reply to by Blue Balls (not verified)

OverTheHedge PrayingMantis Sat, 07/08/2017 - 02:36 Permalink

Thank you for the info it's not too bad for Linux - you still need root access to install the package, and all it does is add a rule to to your ip table / firewall, so you could, if paranoid, back up and regularly rewrite your iptable rules.TThey would probably need a keyboard logger (which needs root access again)  to get your root password, and /or physical contact with your computer. Beware of the dogs, in my case - survivors may be prosecuted.I won't be switching back to Windows based on this threat.

In reply to by PrayingMantis

a Smudge by an… a Smudge by an… Fri, 07/07/2017 - 14:36 Permalink

Putin: Good evening Mr. President.The Donald: Vladimir, do you know what this is gowing to be? Do you know what this is Vladimir? Can you tell me what this is Vladimir? Let me tell you what this is Vladimir, this is yuge. This is gowing to be yuge Vladimir. Can you say yuge? Say it with me Vladimir, this is gowing to be yuge. YUUUUUUUUUUUGE. It's gowing to be very very bigly yuge Vladimir. Look at me. Look at me Vladimir, look at me look at me look at me look at me look at me Vladimir. Look at me. It's gowing to be yuge Vladimir. Know what yuge is? Look at me. It's gowing to be very very bigly. Yuge Vladimir, it's gowing to be yuge. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me. Say yuge. Say YUUUUGE very bigly.And he continues for a very long and painful 29 minutes and 55 seconds.

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

swmnguy a Smudge by an… Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:37 Permalink

Once in a while it is a lot of fun to kick the anthill here at ZH and collect the downvotes.  Not worshipping Trump and not believing the sillier effluences from 4Chan, Reddit and the poor man's less-reputable versions of Breitbart are good ways to do that.In the meantime, it's really sad that people are focusing on the bullshit non-story of "Russian Hacking" when there is actually something worthwhile that came out of Trump's meeting with Putin.A ceasefire in Syria is really a huge deal.  Y-u-u-u-u-ge, if you prefer.I don't hold out a lot of hope it will be permanent, but it represents actual grownup-acting and conversation among those involved.  that's worth talking about.But I'm sure the MSM will gloss over that to get to the juicy nothingburger of demanding that everybody divide by zero, proving the non-existence of non-existing Russian hacking of our election.

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

adanata aqualech Fri, 07/07/2017 - 14:59 Permalink

Vlad came right out and correctly stated it did not matter to Russia who was President of the US; they come and go but the trajectory remains the same. Very clear, yes? It's the "Red Shields" stupid...!  Unfortunately the snowflakes wear earmuffs; they never hear actual, verifiable information nor thoroughly research anything; thinking is not their best event.

In reply to by aqualech

replaceme aqualech Fri, 07/07/2017 - 15:46 Permalink

"But we have 17 intelligence agencies sort of saying that they think you probably did although they can't produce any evidence"To loosely quote "Wag the Dog", then "What good are they, if they can't show that we were hacked - why are we paying them billions and billions if they can't prove that we were hacked?"I really hope someone does not remind them of the bigger picture, so to speak. Remind those agencies who really writes their checks.  

In reply to by aqualech

Giant Meteor Doubleguns Fri, 07/07/2017 - 21:51 Permalink

Well perhaps,Then again my first impression upon reading the tagline to this bit, ahhhhh, finally, a reasonable request from a reasonable man. I mean, some folks need growin up. and stopping with the insane, inanity.Furthermore, if Putin was caught red handed on go pro, video taped "hacking the election"  himself, well shit, that wouldn't trouble me much either.The shame. sham. of so called "leaders" , in the US, not to mention what passes for "news" / editorializing, is so shop worn and shoddy, so e ntirely utterly ridculous and bereft of actual content, let alone "truth", well, the only rational response of responsible adults should be scorn, contempt and ridicule.Look to the problems in your own back yard America, before attempting to clean someone elses, anyone elses, own back yard. 

In reply to by Doubleguns

Ghost of PartysOver The_Juggernaut Fri, 07/07/2017 - 14:13 Permalink

I have said it before and will say it again, if the NeoCons and NeoLibs fail to find any Russian State Sanctioned evidence of election tampering or collusion then I would expect a trade deal with Russia within a year of two.  Always better to have Boardroom Wars instead of Hot Wars.  For the down voters may I remind you that Japan attacked the US, US was at war with Germany, do I need to mention Vietnam.  All foes at one time and now trading partners.

In reply to by The_Juggernaut

CheapBastard Ghost of PartysOver Fri, 07/07/2017 - 14:25 Permalink

Clinton chairman John "Pizza Man" Podesta tells Trump: 'Get a grip' Mr Podesta hit back in seven tweets, branding Mr Trump a "whack job"."Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!" Mr Trump tweeted on Friday morning from Hamburg. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40533959 Screw PedoMan. He should be in jail already.

In reply to by Ghost of PartysOver

El Vaquero y3maxx Fri, 07/07/2017 - 13:57 Permalink

I think that CNN is getting its pee-pee slapped pretty hard right now.  It has incurred the wrath of the internet hate machine and its ratings are sliding into the shitter on the eve of a corporate buyout of its parent company.  I'd say that there are pretty good odds that CNN will either not exist in the near future, or it will exist in name only in the same way that Communist China is no longer actually Communist.  

In reply to by y3maxx