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Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Fox News' Chris Wallace Monday that Western efforts to isolate Russia have "failed," and he and President Trump began a "new path" today.

The backdrop: Trump has been pilloried from all sides following today's press conference for seeming side with Russia, rather than the U.S. intelligence community, over election meddling in 2016. Putin reiterated his denials in the Fox News interview, saying, “Do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States, and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?”

Election meddling...
  • Wallace presented Putin with the indictment brought against 12 Russian intelligence operatives for their role in the election meddling. Putin refused to touch it, and dismissed the Mueller probe as "the internal political games of the United States."
  • On Trump's refusal to criticize him: "Was it worth going all the way to Helsinki… to just insult one another? That’s not exactly the diplomatic standard in the world… we met to find a way of improving our relationship.”
  • On whether he has "dirt" on Trump: “We don’t have anything on them… before he announced that he will run for the presidency, he was of no interest for us. He was a rich person, but there are many rich people in the United States... It would never occur to anyone that he would think about running for president.”
Foreign policy...
  • Putin said he'd react "negatively" if Georgia or Ukraine became NATO members.
  • Asked about Russian troops causing civilian casualties in Syria, he blamed "terrorist groups" for destabilizing the country. He added, “You know when there is a warfare going on, and this is the worst thing that can happen for humankind, victims are inevitable.”
  • Putin said Trump told him the U.S. position remains that Crimea is part of Ukraine, not Russia.
Putin on Putin...
  • Asked why so many of his rivals end up dead or injured, Putin said, “First of all, all of us have many political rivals" before noting there had been assassinations in the U.S. as well.
  • Asked what changed from his pro-democracy, pro-Europe days: “Nothing changed about me. I am the way I am. I am the way I was. I was elected as the president of the Russian Federation as an adult man.” He said things changed around him, like NATO expansion to the East. “What happened to you? What happened to the West?”

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.