United States President Donald Trump on Saturday said Russian President Vladimir Putin had denied interfering with the US presidential election in 2016, The Washington Post reported. They spoke on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.

“He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump told reporters in the press cabin on the Air Force One. “I asked him again. You can only ask so many times...He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”

The president also called the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference with the US election an “artificial Democratic hit job”. “There was no collusion [between Moscow and the Trump campaign],” he said. “Everybody knows there was no collusion.”

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is leading the Russia inquiry. Intelligence agencies believe that Russian hackers stole and made public thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and also spread misinformation to help Trump win the election against Hillary Clinton.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegation of orchestrating cyber attacks during the polls.