Trump Is ‘Open, Well Meaning Person' Who Is Easy to Talk to, Says Russia's Prime Minister

While President Donald Trump’s tour of Asia was no break from the grilling he gets at home, at least one man came away with only good things to say about him—Russia’s prime minister.

“Donald Trump was sitting practically next to me,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Russian journalists, describing his first meeting with the U.S. leader at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Sunday. He said the two spoke at length during dinner.

“He is an open, well-meaning person, with whom you can comfortably speak about the most varied of topics,” Medvedev added, state news agency Itar-Tass reported Tuesday.

The Russian cabinet head, who was once Putin’s successor for a term, said he and Trump discussed “the history of our relations with the United States of America, the Second World War and some other moments.”

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“In and of itself this is not bad,” Medvedev said. “What is bad is that despite the presence of contact and the ability to discuss whichever issues, our relations continue to degrade day by day. They are at their lowest point in the last decade.”

Trump’s Asia tour was well covered in Russia, as officials kicked off the public build-up to his likely run-in with Putin before the U.S. had even arranged for the meeting. Ultimately the miscommunication resulted in the pair not sitting down for a direct chat as the Kremlin blamed U.S. inflexibility, while Washington suggested they simply felt there was not enough “substance” to arrange the meeting.

After the collapse of plans for the meeting, Putin joked he would “punish” the staffers that had failed to arrange it. “While we are on the subject, nothing awful happened,” Putin said later, noting that his short conversation with Trump on the sidelines was enough for him. “More or less, we discussed everything we wanted to.”

The U.S. leader affirmed his belief that Putin is being earnest in denying Russia’s culpability in hacking last year’s election, against the advice of all U.S. intelligence agencies.

"He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election," said Trump, according to the Associated Press.

"He did not do what they are saying he did... Every time he sees me he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country."

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