The Kremlin on Friday said it agreed with President Donald Trump’s assessment that US-Russian ties were at an all-time and very dangerous low.
“We fully share this opinion,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists over Trump’s view, expressed on Twitter on Thursday, AFP reported.
Peskov said that the danger facing the countries “may lie in a lack of mutual collaboration and cooperation over the topics that are vitally important for both our countries and their people.”
Trump, writing after he reluctantly signed a bill approved by Congress for strengthening sanctions against Russia, tweeted: “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low.
“You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!”, Trump said, referring to the Republican-dominated legislature’s failure to implement a campaign pledge to change the US health care system.
Moscow has reacted furiously to the sanctions.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev On Wednesday said they amounted to a “full-fledged economic war” and demonstrated Trump’s “total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way.”
The Kremlin spokesman on Friday also slammed the ongoing investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the election campaign, calling this “Russiagate,” a reference to the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon.
“We have many times talked about the complete absurdity and lack of basis for so-called Russiagate,” Peskov said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Manila at the weekend to discuss bilateral ties, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed Thursday after the diplomatic chiefs spoke by phone.
Trump described Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election as a “total fabrication” Thursday amid reports that a special prosecutor has impaneled a grand jury to investigate the issue – a step toward possible criminal indictments.
“We didn’t win because of Russia. We won because of you,” Trump said at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia.
Trying to build support among his core supporters, he said his enemies were “trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us and most importantly, demeaning to our country and demeaning to our constitution.”
“The reason why Democrats only talk about the totally made-up Russia story is because they have no message, no agenda, and no vision,” he said. “The Russia story is total fabrication. It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics.”
His comments came after the Wall Street Journal revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election.
The newspaper, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported that the grand jury had begun its work in the US capital Washington “in recent weeks.”
The move is a sign that the sweeping federal investigation – which includes allegations that Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russia to tilt the election in the Republican’s favor – is gathering pace.