President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he talked briefly about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, CNN reports.
Trump, however, did not speak at all about interference in U.S. elections, nor did he warn Putin not to meddle in 2020.
"We didn't discuss that. Really, we didn't discuss it. We discussed five or six things. We also went into great detail on various things," Trump told reporters after speaking with Putin.
Trump had previously tweeted that he talked with Putin about the “Russian hoax,” in addition to other topics, during the course of their phone call, which lasted an hour.
"(Putin) sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started up as a mountain and ended up as a mouse,” Trump said. “But he knew that because he knew that there was no collusion. Pretty much that's what it was."
The phone call on Friday marked the first between Putin and Trump since the Mueller report’s release, which revealed that top Trump campaign officials thought favorably of Russian interference, but didn’t find conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Trump doubled down on Saturday by calling his conversation with Putin a “very good call” and criticizing the media’s coverage of the Mueller probe.
"Tremendous potential for a good/great relationship with Russia, despite what you read and see in the Fake News Media," Trump tweeted. "Look how they have misled you on 'Russia Collusion.' The World can be a better and safer place. Nice!"
The Mueller report detailed several attempts by Russian entities to interfere with the outcome of the 2016 election.
In a tweet, former Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director John McLaughlin suggested that Trump is interested in keeping his favorable relationship with Putin because he is relying on the Russians to lead him through the 2020 election.
“Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania made Trump president. Michigan: a mere 10,704 votes out of 4,548,382 cast. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by just 22,748 votes out of 2,787,820 and 44,292 out of about 6M). States Manafort discussed w/Kilimnik. Why would Trump challenge Putin?” he wrote.