Axios/Associated Press – RICHMOND, Va.
(AP) The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the Las Vegas mass shooting (all times local):10:45 p.m.
President Donald Trump says he will investigate his former national security adviser’s ties with Russia, after reports surfaced that he met privately with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Speaking to reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump said he will be looking into the reports.
“I’m not going to make any comments on that,” he said.
“I have no comment on that at all.”
The White House has denied the reports that Trump was briefed by Russian officials on the meeting.
Trump said he’s looking into it because it’s not true.
“It’s not my place to comment on the president’s conversations, and I have not done that.
It’s not a place for me to comment,” Trump said.”
It’s a place where I’m going to be talking about the country, and that’s going to include what I’ve been hearing, including that I’ve had a great relationship with the Russians.”
Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have spoken by phone more than twice since the 2016 election, and Trump said Saturday that the two leaders discussed how to improve ties.
Trump added that Putin is a strong leader and he has no doubt that he and Putin will get along.
“I had a very good relationship with him for years, and we’re very, very close,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey.
“But I’m also very confident in the fact that we’ll get along, that we’re going to get along.
He’s very strong.
I mean, you look at the relationship.
We’re going from the Cold War to the Cold Wars.
I think we’re in a very, strong position, and he’s a great leader.”
He added that he thinks Putin “has the right attitude and the right temperament to be a strong president.”
Trump said his “relationship” with Putin was “long and it’s deep,” but added that the relationship is “long-term.”
“I have tremendous respect for him.
I do not have great respect for Vladimir Putin,” he added.