Friday, 14 December, 2018

Trump, Putin Meet After New Charges Over Moscow's 2016 Election Interference

Ahead of Trump-Putin meeting, lack of preparation leads to low expectations: Sources Warner wants more Americans in Trump-Putin meeting
Ellis Copeland | 21 July, 2018, 10:39

As President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted each other in front of the press on Monday, Trump raved about the World Cup and their mutual friend, Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Peskov said Putin respects Trump's "America first" stance because he also puts Russian Federation first, but that the only way to make progress at the summit is if both sides are open to finding areas of mutual benefit. He says, "I thought it was a disgrace to our country".

Afterwards, Trump said the discussion was "a very good start for everybody". "President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

The meeting comes against the backdrop of Trump feuding with European allies, 12 Russian military intelligence officers indicted stemming from the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election, and Democrats back home calling for Trump to cancel the meeting.

Dan Coats, Trump's director of national intelligence, promptly made clear he did not share the president's view.

But for Trump, whose White House victory was actively supported by 12 Russian military intelligence agents, according to a recent US indictment, and whose entourage is still being investigated for possible collusion with Moscow, the meeting is freighted with domestic political risk. "Certainly I'll be asking about it", Trump said.

"I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked", added Trump. Huntsman said the meeting must go on because some global issues can't be solved without Russian engagement.

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Donald Trump invites Vladimir Putin to visit Washington in autumn
However grudging Trump's moves against Moscow might have been, though, his defenders say the actions speak for themselves. Trump's remarks during a joint press conference with Putin on Monday were widely condemned by both political parties.


Tweeting as he flew to Finland for Monday's meeting with Putin, Trump says, "No matter how well I do at the Summit" he'll face "criticism that it wasn't good enough".

In an interview with CBS News that aired before he touched down in Helsinki, Trump admitted that Russian Federation remains a foe, but he put Moscow on a par with China and the European Union as economic and diplomatic rivals.

The president went on to add that Russian Federation and China are also on his list of adversaries.

House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a strongly worded statement, saying there's "no question" that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and noting that US intelligence agencies and a House panel agreed. Asked if Russian Federation was at all to blame for the poor ties, he said: "I hold both countries responsible". Trump responded by calling her the "puppet". "However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"

After two hours alone in a room with their interpreters, Trump and Putin convened a more traditional-style bilateral meeting, seated at a large conference table surrounded by senior officials from both countries. "I think that the United States has been foolish". The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman was also asked about Crimea Sunday. "The fact that we're having a summit at this level, at this time in history, is a deliverable in itself", he said. "We need to get justice for my mum".

Trump's conciliatory tone toward Putin is a stark contrast to his combative attitude at last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, highlighting once again the president's transactional approach to foreign policy. "We are puzzled with many aspects of these investigations in the part that concerns us and our country, but let's leave it behind the brackets". Russia has also been sanctioned by the US over election meddling and other cyber attacks like NotPetya, which the USA and United Kingdom believe the Russian military executed, and which cost billions in damage across Europe, Asia and the U.S.

"We can no longer completely rely on the White House", Heiko Maas told the Funke newspaper group.

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