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Iran Press TV

Trump told May he doubted Russia was involved in Skripal case

Iran Press TV

Sun Oct 6, 2019 09:30AM

US President Donald Trump reportedly told former British Prime Minister Theresa May he was doubtful whether Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.

According to The Washington Post, Trump, in a phone call with May last summer, expressed his doubts about Russian involvement in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The 66-year-old former Russian double agent and his daughter, 33, were found unconscious outside a restaurant in the southern English city of Salisbury last March. Both were put into a coma following the attack and at least three others were sickened.

British and American intelligence officials have accused Moscow of involvement in the botched deadly poisoning attempt.

London believes Russia's military intelligence service GRU carried out the attack using a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok.

The Kremlin has vehemently rejected any involvement, saying the substance could have originated from the countries studying Novichok, including the UK itself, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sweden. Moscow has described the claims as a "circus show" hosted by the British authorities.

Delivering a statement to members of parliament in the House of Commons few days after the incident, May said it was "highly likely" that Moscow was responsible for poisoning.

The Post reported Saturday that, during the phone call, Trump harangued May about the UK's contribution to NATO and then spent 10 minutes, disputing Russian involvement in the Skripal case.

"Trump totally bought into the idea there was credible doubt about the poisoning," said a person briefed on the call. "A solid 10 minutes of the conversation is spent with May saying it's highly likely and him saying he's not sure."

This contradicted the president's earlier comments when he had said, "It sounds to me like it would be Russia, based on all of the evidence they have."

Trump imposed two rounds of sanctions against Moscow over accusations that it was involved in the attack.

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