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Trump believes N.K. nukes greater threat than alleged Russian meddling: aide

2017/11/13 06:25

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump believes North Korea's nuclear weapons are a greater threat than Russia's alleged interference in his election and wants to work with Moscow to counter that threat, an aide said Sunday.

Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, was responding to a question about whether Trump accepts the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russia tried to sway last year's election in his favor.

Trump took an ambivalent stance over the weekend as he told reporters in Vietnam that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of meddling but also stands with the U.S. intelligence agencies.

"He believes that after years of investigations, of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, there is zero evidence of any ballot being impacted by Russian interference," Short said in an interview on NBC. "What the president is trying to do right now is recognize that the gravest threat that America faces is North Korea developing nuclear weapons. And nuclear weapons in North Korea is a greater threat than Russia buying Facebook ads in America."

   Short went further to add that Trump has signed sanctions against Russia in recognition of Moscow's alleged wrongdoing.

"We're not denying that or saying it's not important," he said. "We are saying that if we can get Russia to partner with us, to help stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, and if we can partner with Russia to provide peace in the godforsaken area of Syria right now, that those are positive developments."

   hague@yna.co.kr

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