AP NEWS

White House refutes Russian report of a Putin-Trump meeting

November 30, 2018

The White House fired back at the Kremlin Friday, saying President Trump canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin because of Moscow’s military clash with Ukraine, not due to domestic political troubles from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

“The reason for our canceled meeting is Ukraine. Hopefully, that will be resolved soon so that productive conversations can begin,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

She said with evident sarcasm of the Mueller probe, “The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is hopefully now nearing an end, is doing very well. Unfortunately, it probably does undermine our relationship with Russia.”

Russia’s foreign ministry scoffed at Mr. Trump’s explanation for canceling a formal meeting with Mr. Putin, saying the real reason was domestic U.S. politics. Mr. Trump was hit with another round of negative news coverage Thursday over Mr. Mueller’s probe, with another guilty plea by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Cohen said in court that Mr. Trump was pursuing a real-estate deal in Moscow until June 2016, well into the presidential campaign, at a time when Mr. Trump was asserting he had no financial interests in Russia.

A Kremlin spokesman said Friday that Mr. Putin will have a “brief impromptu meeting” with Mr. Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina.

But a White House official fired back, “There is no scheduled pull aside.”

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