Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted he wanted Donald Trump to be elected president during a press conference following a private meeting the two leaders held on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.
Asked by a reporter if he wanted Trump to win and if he directed anyone to ensure it happened, Putin said:
"Yes, yes I did... because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal."
Putin's remarks were preceded by denials of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Both Trump and Putin refuted conclusions by all 17 American intelligence agencies that Russia mounted a massive cyber campaign to influence American voters in favor of Trump.
Russian intelligence operatives also hacked the DNC and accessed voter registration information, actions for which 12 Russian nationals were criminally indicted on Friday.
"I don't see any reason why" Russia would interfere in our election, Trump said. Putin also said his country would never meddle in an American election.
Reactions on social media were swift, but people weren't surprised.
Last summer, Trump said Putin wanted to see Hillary Clinton elected president, claiming she would have weakened our military, which would make Russia happy.
“We are the most powerful country in the world and we are getting more and more powerful because I’m a big military person. As an example, if Hillary had won, our military would be decimated,” Trump said.
Trump went on to say he wanted a strong military, therefore Russia wouldn't have wanted him to get elected.
That’s why I say, why would he want me? Because from day one I wanted a strong military, he doesn’t want to see that.