Trump said he discussed 'Russian hoax' with Putin

Trump says he briefly discussed Mueller report in a call with Russian counterpart.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Trump and Putin
Trump and Putin

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he briefly discussed special counsel Robert Mueller's report in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but did not warn his Russian counterpart to not meddle in the next US election.

"We didn't discuss that. Really, we didn't discuss it. We discussed five or six things. We also went into great detail on various things," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, according to CNN.

"(Putin) sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started up as a mountain and ended up as a mouse. But he knew that because he knew that there was no collusion. Pretty much that's what it was," added the President.

Earlier, the President tweeted, “Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia. As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing.... We discussed Trade, Venezuela, Ukraine, North Korea, Nuclear Arms Control and even the ‘Russian Hoax.’ Very productive talk!”

Friday's phone call was the first between the two leaders since the release of the Mueller report, which found that members of the Trump campaign expected they would benefit from Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, but didn't find that they conspired with the Kremlin.

Russia has denied any interference in the 2016 election. Trump has acknowledged intelligence information indicating that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, but has rejected the idea that his campaign colluded with Russia in the meddling.

Trump claimed earlier this week that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, "did nothing" to stop Russian interference, though in fact Obama told Putin "to cut it out" and vowed "serious consequences."

The Kremlin said Friday’s phone call was initiated by Trump. In a readout, Moscow did not mention the Mueller investigation and said Trump and Putin discussed "the current state and prospects for bilateral relations with an emphasis on economic cooperation."

Speaking to reporters earlier Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Mueller report was discussed "very, very briefly."

Friday's conversation between the two leaders was part of a larger discussion that was focused on the crisis in Venezuela and also touched on North Korea, a potential nuclear deal with Russia and China, and the situation in Ukraine.

Sanders said the call's "primary focus" was about the need to help people in Venezuela.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)