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Raised Russian Meddling In 2016 US Election With Putin: John Bolton

Evan Vucci  AP FILEPresident Donald Trump claps as he arrives for a campaign rally

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One as they depart for Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, from Morristown, New Jersey, July 1, 2018.

White House national security adviser John Bolton on Sunday pushed back on a report that President Donald Trump is leaving the door open to recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Putin and Trump discussed holding a summit during a phone call in March, when the United States leader reportedly ignored advice from his staff and congratulated the Russian president for his victory in elections that were criticized by observers as unfair. Bolton said he brought up both the 2016 election and Russian activities in upcoming congressional elections.

"I think controlled confrontation is the maximum that can be achieved in Russian-U.S. relations in the next few years". I asked him again.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday", Bolton said the summit would be "somewhat unstructured", especially during the leaders' one-on-one time, to avoid "the pressure of immediate deadlines or crises".

Trump has long called for warmer ties with Moscow, but the talks come as Russia's relations with the West languish at levels not seen since the Cold War. "We're going to be talking to them about Syria", he said.

Looking at the relationship that POTUS has with other world leaders, it seems that he is getting along far better with Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin than with any of the US-allied leaders.

U.S. intelligence agencies have alleged that Russian hackers had tried to help Trump win the White House, something Russia has flatly denied.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 contest.

"The idea that Russian Federation did not meddle in our election is fake news", Graham said.

From the beginning of his presidential campaign, Trump has insisted that he wants a better relationship with Russian Federation, asserting that it will be good for the U.S. and for the world. "When they say they didn't meddle, they're lying. Show him the evidence you've got, Mr. President, because it's overwhelming". However, National Security Adviser John Bolton emphasized last week that the U.S does not consider Crimea to be part of Russian Federation and does not plan to recognize the annexation.

"I don't think anybody ought to have a case of the vapors over discussions we have in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the G-7, versus discussions we have with Putin or Kim Jong Un", Bolton said. "Spain, France, it's unfair what they've done to the United States".

Previously, sanctions had been imposed during the administration of President Barack Obama in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea and its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

Trump on Friday implied the USA could discuss recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea during the summit in Helsinki, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Crimea is off the table.