As President Trump spent time with his Vietnamese counterpart on Sunday, it was his comments on Vladimir Putin that again made headlines.
A day earlier, Trump said he believed the Russian leader’s denials that Moscow meddled in last year’s US election.
But attempting to clear up confusion, Trump told a news conference in Hanoi on Sunday that he sided with US intelligence agencies on the issue.
“As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted,” he told reporters, standing alongside Vietnamese leader Tran Dai Quang.
“As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”
He was careful to make clear he sided with the intelligence agencies under his own leadership.
But Trump stressed he still believed Putin did not think there had been Russian meddling.
“I believe that President Putin really feels, and feels strongly, that he did not meddle in our election,” Trump said, while adding: “What he believes is what he believes.”
And he insisted that he was not interested in arguing with Putin over meddling and wanted to get on with Russia to work on world problems including North Korea, Syria and Ukraine.
When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics - bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 novembre 2017
Not everyone will be happy to see Trump in the Philippines, the next stage of his marathon Asian tour.
There, he will meet leaders of South East Asian nations at the ASEAN summit, including his host President Rodrigo Duterte.
Militant protesters made their voices heard in Manila on Saturday and scuffles broke out with security forces.