(Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his meeting with Vladimir Putin would lead to “big results,” in a continuing bid to calm a storm over his failure to criticize the Russian leader for Moscow’s actions to undermine the 2016 U.S. election.
In a tweet Trump said he elicited a promise from Putin to help negotiate with North Korea but did not say how. “Russia has agreed to help with North Korea, where relationships with us are very good and the process is moving along,” he said. “There is no rush, the sanctions remain! Big benefits and exciting future for North Korea at end of process!”
Russia’s RIA news agency, citing Moscow’s envoy to Pyongyang, reported on Wednesday that a summit between the leaders of Russia and North Korea is “on the agenda” and that it would be “logical” to raise the idea of lifting sanctions.
Trump met North Korea’s Kim Jong Un last month in the first meeting between leaders of the two countries, and recently received a letter from Kim expressed hope for “practical actions” in the future.
Trump had said he and Putin discussed reducing nuclear weapons worldwide.
“So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki,” Trump said in a series of early-morning tweets about their Monday summit. “Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come!”
Republicans and Democrats both accused him of siding with an adversary rather than his own country after he shied away from criticizing the Russian leader for what U.S. intelligence agencies say were Moscow’s efforts to undermine the 2016 election.
Instead, standing next to Putin Trump cast doubt on the agencies. On Tuesday Trump said he had misspoken and that he had complete faith in U.S. intelligence agencies and accepted their conclusions.
Trump also tweeted on Wednesday that his NATO meeting in Brussels last week was an “acknowledged triumph,” adding that his one-on-one with Putin “may prove to be, in the long run, an even greater success. Many positive things will come out of that meeting.”
(Additional reporting by Denis Pinchuk in Moscow and Alison Williams in London; Editing by Jon Boyle and Jeffrey Benkoe)