Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have agreed to hold their first official summit. Although it remains unknown when and where, both sides have confirmed that the meeting will take place. Today, as Reuters news agency reported, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton shared details about his own meeting with the Russian president.
Perhaps a key detail Bolton has decided to share with the public is the fact that he and Putin have discussed Russian election meddling. However, the issue, so it seems, remains a great reason for concern for John Bolton, who said Putin told him that “there was no meddling by the Russian state.”
This, according to Bolton, does not mean there was no meddling at all, which is why the POTUS has been briefed on the issue. Trump will also speak with Putin about Russia’s election meddling.
“The election meddling issue was definitely something we talked about. I think it’s something that we’re concerned about. That’s why the president is going to speak with him about it again.”
One of the main reasons Trump needs to discuss Russian election meddling with Putin is, according to Bolton, the fact that it remains unclear whether it was indeed the Kremlin that had interfered in the U.S. election or a group with no connections to official Moscow. Still wary, Bolton said the following.
“I think the president will have to pursue that further and I think that’s one reason why he and President Putin need to have this conversation. Vladimir Putin is the one who makes the decisions and I think our leader needs to speak with him.”
Apart from discussing Russian election meddling, Bolton and Putin also talked about Crimea. President Trump’s position on Crimea remains unclear, considering he alleged that former president Barack Obama was to blame for it, as the Inquisitr reported.
Trump’s statement about Crimea came only a day after BuzzFeed News published a story about Trump’s dinner table discussions at the G7 summit when the President had allegedly said, “Crimea belongs to Russia because everyone who lives there speaks Russian.”
Whether that is Trump’s private or official position remains to be seen, but U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton reaffirmed that America has not changed its tune regarding Crimea. Putin, Bolton said, “was pretty clear” about Crimea, so the two had to “agree to disagree.”
“That’s not the position of the United States,” Bolton concluded.
Bolton’s statements do not come as a surprise, considering he is thought to be a foreign policy hardliner. The Conversation once described him as “one of the key figures of neoconservatism,” and Bolton has infamously been an outspoken critic of international institutions and treaties.