President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spoke over the phone for “more than one hour” today, discussing efforts to combat terrorism and the situations in North Korea, Ukraine and Syria, according to details provided by the White House.
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The conversation came a day after Putin met with Syrian leader Bashar al Assad Monday evening in Sochi, Russia.
Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit, discuss Syria, North Korea
Syrian President Bashar Assad meets with Russia’s Putin in Sochi
Trump and Putin had met for an informal meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Vietnam on Nov. 11, as Trump was on a five-country tour of Asia.
The president’s interactions with Putin continue to be scrutinized by administration critics as special counsel Robert Mueller and committees in the House and Senate continue to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
During the Asia trip, Trump said Putin told him Russia did not meddle in the election, and that he “believes that [Putin] believes that.” But Trump added that he trusted the U.S. intelligence community, which determined in January that Russia, guided by Putin, took efforts to interfere in the election.