Trump meeting with Finnish president - 7/16/2018 1:56:15 AM

21 July, 2018, 10:50 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Ahead of Trump-Putin meeting, lack of preparation leads to low expectations: Sources

The president's equivocation drew bipartisan condemnation, capping a week in which Trump alienated allies and cozied up to adversaries.

Trump meets with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, three days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for hacking Democratic party officials and organizations to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.

This interview comes on the heels of Trump's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings where he asked for members to double their defense spending.

"The disagreements between our two countries are well-known and President Putin and I discussed them at length today", Trump said. But Jon Huntsman, the USA ambassador to Russian Federation, says Monday's meeting "is really the first time for both presidents to actually sit across the table and have a conversation and I hope it's a detailed conversation about where we might be able to find some overlapping and shared interests".

"I go in with very low expectations".

Trump arrived in the Finnish capital on Sunday evening to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Huntsman added: "The collective blood pressure between the United States and Russian Federation is off-the-charts high so it's a good thing these presidents are getting together". "I hadn't thought of that".

Universally sympathetic to Trump, they described the American as hobbled by domestic political challenges - a problem that Putin doesn't face after 18 years of stifling opposition.

"NATO has, I think, never been stronger. Now you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe". "If the president is involved, by all means put the information forward". I have President Putin.


"I find it hard to believe, but that's what one of the purposes of this meeting is, so the president can see eye-to-eye with President Putin and ask him about it, " Bolton told ABC's "This Week".

Trump appeared to place blame on the Democratic National Committee for the hacking attack that has been linked to Russian Federation: "I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked". He claimed the Russians also attempted to hack into the Republican National Committee, "but we had much better defenses".

A probe over allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election has clouded Trump's presidency.

According to top advisers of the president, Mr. Trump's private one-on-one meeting with Putin is scheduled to last about a half hour but could go even longer.

Mr Trump says he will raise the issue, but there is no formal agenda.

"We will, of course, ask your favorite question about meddling", Trump told reporters last week. He said asking for the indicted Russians to be turned over would have the opposite effect. In tweets Sunday, he blasted Democrats and the news media but had no harsh words for Putin.

The president also tells CBS News that he "hadn't thought" about asking Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in Washington on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 USA election, but says that "certainly I'll be asking about it".

Hours after the Helsinki summit, Trump tweeted: "I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people".

Clinton, Trump's Democratic rival, had used a private email server to conduct official business while secretary of State, but deleted many emails before investigators could examine how many contained classified information. In a CBS interview over the weekend, Trump drew little distinction between Western democracies that share history and values with the United States and authoritarian regimes in Moscow and Beijing.

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