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Trump says will raise election meddling with Putin in Helsinki meeting

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US President Donald Trump said on Friday he would raise the issue of alleged Russian meddling in US elections during his planned meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next month.

[ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE] US President Donald Trump said on Friday he would raise the issue of alleged Russian meddling in US elections during his planned meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next month.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on his way to New Jersey, Mr Trump also said he would discuss the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and other international issues with Mr Putin during the July 16 summit.

"I'll talk to him about everything," Mr Trump said.

"We're going to talk about Ukraine, we're going to be talking about Syria. We'll be talking about elections ... we don't want anybody tampering with elections."

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Russia has denied US intelligence agencies' assessment that Moscow sought to interfere with the 2016 US election to boost Mr Trump's prospects of becoming president.

After Mr Trump and Mr Putin met briefly in Vietnam in November 2017, Mr Trump was criticised in the United States for saying he believed Mr Putin when he denied Russian meddling.

Mr Trump denies wrongdoing and calls an investigation into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia a "witch hunt".

Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States in response, and its military intervention in the war in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad are major causes of strain in the two countries' relations.

Asked if the United States would recognize Crimea as part of Russia, Mr Trump said: "We're going to have to see."

He gave a similar answer when he was asked if he would lift the sanctions on Russia. "We'll see what Russia does," Mr Trump said.

REUTERS