Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire asked Russian President Vladimir Putin about the infamous compromising tape that the Russian government allegedly has of President Trump in a Moscow hotel room. President Putin laughed.
At the first joint press conference with the leaders of the two superpowers, the issue of Russian alleged meddling in the U.S. 2016 election held center stage.
Asked about "compromising information" on Trump (aka pee tape), Putin notably does not deny it.— Marina Fang (@marinafang) July 16, 2018
JONATHAN LEMIRE, AP: Can you tell me what President Trump may have indicated to you about officially recognizing Crimea as part of Russia?
And then secondly, sir, do you, does the Russian government have any compromising material on President Trump or his family?
PUTIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): President Trump and -- well, posture of President Trump on Crimea is well known, and he stands firmly by it. He continued to maintain that it was illegal to annex it.
Our viewpoint is different. We held a referendum in strict compliance with the U.N. charter and the international legislation. For us, this issue -- we put paid to this issue.
And now, to the compromising material. Yeah, I did hear these rumors that we allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow. Well, distinguished colleague, let me tell you this: When President Trump was at Moscow back then, I didn't even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow.
Well, let's take St. Petersburg Economic Forum, for instance. There were over 500 American businessmen, high-ranking, high-level ones. I don't even remember the last names of each and every one of them. Well, do you remember -- do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them?
Well, it's difficult to imagine an utter nonsense of a bigger scale than this.
Well, please, just disregard these issues and don't think about this anymore again.
TRUMP: It would have been out long ago. And if anybody watched Peter Strzok testify over the last couple of days -- and I was in Brussels watching it -- it was a disgrace to the FBI, it was a disgrace to our country, and you would say that was a total witch hunt.
Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.