Kramer: I'm inclined to trust Lavrov, who maintains that Trump accepted Putin's denials

PONARS Eurasia
10 Jul 2017

(Business Insider) As President Donald Trump finished his two-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, Moscow was already declaring the bilateral sit-down a victory for Russia and preparing to tell the press that Trump had accepted Putin's assurances that he did not interfere in the 2016 election.

Russian media began celebrating the meeting before it even ended. Anchors remarked on its length, deciding a two-hour meeting meant that Putin must be Trump's favorite world leader, as tabloids declared it "historic." [...]

"I'm inclined to trust Lavrov, who maintains that Trump accepted Putin's denials that the Russian government was involved," said Mark Kramer, the program director for the Project on Cold War Studies at Harvard's Davis Center for Eurasian Affairs.

If, as I suspect, that is what happened, it was a key victory for Putin," Kramer said. "It shows him that he really does have a sympathetic friend in the the White House."

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