- The Washington Times - Monday, July 16, 2018

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged Monday from a summit declaring success in forging a better relationship, even if they didn’t solve any conflicts between their two countries.

“Our relationship has never been worse than it is now, however, that changed as of about four hours ago. I really believe that,” Mr. Trump said at a press joint conference with Mr. Putin.

Mr. Putin, who denied Russian involvement in the election hacks, said the summit was a first steps toward “restoring a responsible level of trust.”

The president said he made the right decision in ignoring calls to cancel the summit after the U.S. last week indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents for hacking the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Trump said that as president he couldn’t make a decision based on pleasing the news media or Democrats who oppose him.

“Nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to meet … but that would not accomplish anything,” Mr. Trump said. “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”

The two leaders said they discussed cooperation in areas of conflict, including in the wars in Syria and Ukraine.

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