Thank you for being with us today here in Helsinki. I am very grateful to share the salient points of our discussion, which I believe will add to a sense of peace, security, and democratic advancement around the world.
President Putin and I had a very productive and mutual conversation, where we shared our hopes for our respective countries, and for the world. I expressed to President Putin that it is the United States’ ultimate desire that Russia be a full and equal member of the global economic community, and that the wonderful Russian culture and people be celebrated around the globe. I congratulated him, too, on a successful hosting of the World Cup.
We discussed the obvious problems I face as President, including the consensus of the United States intelligence community that Russia interfered with the 2016 United States Presidential election. I expressed that these are our people, doing their work on behalf of our country, and I trust and accept their findings, even over the protests of President Putin, himself. He acknowledged that he would do the same, and, in fact, immediately defended his country and the 12 indicted Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking our election systems. I would expect nothing less from a committed and devoted national leader. This is normal.
Where do we go from here? As I expressed to President Putin, our ongoing talks will be congenial, mutual, but limited until the United States Government has satisfactorily dealt with the accusations and indictments laid forth. It must be this way, since we continue to hold elections, and our people must be assured that their votes matter and are not unduly influenced. This will be a long process.
Until then, we must contain the scope of our talks. The United States must take care of our business at home on this issue, and assure American citizens and the world that the great democratic experiment that is the United States of America is an impenetrable federation, one that will guarantee honest, untainted, free elections. This is the America the world needs.