17 Jul 2018

Peters 'confused' by Trump comments after Putin meeting

From Morning Report, 7:24 am on 17 July 2018

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says the world should not leap to conclusions about Russia's involvement in US politics but he is bewildered and confused by Donald Trump's comments after Mr Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Peters, who is also the Foreign Minister, says he suspects Russia meddled in the US elections but only trials and evidence would prove that.

He told Morning Report  the news from Helsinki was horribly confusing but not totally unexpected.

In response to the question of if he is not convinced by allegations of Russian interference from the US intelligence community, Mr Peters says: "I’m waiting for the process to prove the level of guilt."

"Do I suspect [Russian meddling in US elections]? Yes I seriously do. Are my suspicions backed up by probative evidence? Well I await that."

Meanwhile, Mr Peters said the release of a 17-year-old New Zealander from detention in Australia was a good news story.

"I hope he uses this chance to turn his life around," he said.

Earlier this month Mr Peters accused Australia of flouting United Nations agreements by detaining a child, and promised to raise the issue with Australia's foreign minister next month.