He told the Russian president sitting down together was "an honor," his trademark term of ingratiation. He added: "We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening."
Foreign policy experts had urged the president to sternly confront Putin over the negative thing that happened last year, when Russia conducted a cyber-attack on Democratic targets to help elect him. But diplomats from both countries made clear afterward that Trump had not.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said his boss began the meeting by raising the "concerns of the American people" over the matter, and "pressed" Putin in a robust discussion. But the two leaders, whom the secretary said had "a very clear positive chemistry," then turned their attention forward.
"There was not a lot of re-litigating the past," Tillerson said. On what he called their "disagreement" about hacking, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went further to say Trump accepted Putin's denial that Moscow had interfered at all.