President Donald Trump went straight from a controversial press conference with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin to an interview with Sean Hannity where he said he wouldn't allow a phony investigation to keep him from advancing their relationship.
"It's really a shame"
President Trump said that Putin told him it was s shame that the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller was driving a wedge between the U.S. and Russia, and the president agreed.
"I will tell you it's driven a wedge between us and Russia and maybe we've just knocked down that wedge," Trump told Hannity, "but it has driven a wedge and President Putin said that."
"One of the early things when we started, he said, it's really a shame 'cuz we could do so much good, whether it's humanitarian aide throughout the Middle East," Trump explained, "whether it's not just Syria, so many different things, the safety of nuclear, which is ultimately, there's nothing bigger, nothing more important, and they drove a phony wedge, it's a phony with hunt rigged deal."
Trump said that the investigation had driven relations between the two countries to a historic low, but that the meeting with Putin had improved their relationship.
Here's the video of Trump's interview with Sean Hannity:
Many of the president's critics have decried his trust in Vladimir Putin's word over the assessment from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had meddled in the 2016 election. Trump said that Putin strongly denied the claim during their meeting.
In a tweet soon after the press conference, Trump appeared to walk back his assertion slightly.
"As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people,'" he tweeted.
"However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future," he added, "we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"