Vladimir Putin laughed after being asked if Russia had compromising information about Donald Trump or his family, replying that it’s absurd to suggest that Moscow collects dirt on every American businessman who visits the country.
Jonathan Lemire, a White House reporter for the Associated Press, asked Putin during the post-summit press conference whether Russia had any “compromising material on president Trump or his family.”
Laughing once the question was fully translated, Putin responded: “When Trump came over to Moscow, I was not aware of it. When he came over as a businessman, I was not even aware that he was in Moscow. Take the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. More than 500 senior executives from the US came over to Russia. Do you think that we are compiling compromising material on all of them? Well, definitely it’s absurd. I cannot really imagine anything more absurd than this. So please, throw out this nonsense.”
Trump added that if there was compromising information about him, it would have been published long ago.
While the Russian leader’s answer was hardly ambiguous, journalists flocked to Twitter to claim that Putin had not denied that Moscow had dirt on Trump.