Donald Trump entering meeting with Vladmir Putin with 'low expectations'

Nellie Chapman
July 16, 2018

"I hadn't thought of that", Trump said.

As for what is expected to be discussed at the meeting, political analyst Gilbert Doctorow told RT that the main goal is to "highlight the need to restore direct lines of communication" that were "severed by the Obama administration following the Crimea referendum". "They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration".

Days after the G-7, the Treasury blacklisted five Russian companies and three individuals, some of whom are accused of directly supporting Russia's intelligence agency in its efforts to carry out cyberattacks, including intrusions into America's energy grid and threats to underwater cables that transmit much of the world's communications data.

Ahead of the meeting, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned Mr Trump against making any unilateral deals with Russian Federation that come with a cost for the United States' Western allies.

Also during the interview, he labeled Russian Federation, the European Union and China as foes to the United States.

The meeting comes just days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were charged by a US federal grand jury for hacking the Democrats ahead of the 2016 election, the most detailed USA accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the election to help Trump.

"It's pretty silly for the president to demand something that he can't get legally", Bolton said on ABC News' This Week. "And I don't communicate with them either as you could find out if you consulted your friends in the Washington press corps, whom I don't communicate with", Bolton said.

It's a meeting Trump said would be the "easiest" of his global trip even though he had already been informed (according to the Department of Justice) of the indictments, which charged 12 Russian intelligence officers for conspiring to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and hacking into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Scores of congressional Democrats had already called on Trump to cancel his meeting with Putin in light of the indictments, detailed by Rod Rosenstein at a news conference.

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Trump has spent the weeklong trip wreaking havoc in Europe, first at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels where he questioned the value of the decades-old alliance, and later in Britain, where he faced fallout from a stunning newspaper interview in which he undermined British Prime Minister Theresa May at an especially vulnerable time.

"He told me I should sue the European Union - not go into negotiations", May told the BBC. "I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked". "But that doesn't mean they are bad".

The letter also said that if Trump is not prepared to ask Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that he should not bother with the meeting at all.

"We have asked, and the Russians have agreed, that it will be basically unstructured".

Speaking with MSNBC, McFaul tore into Trump's comment. She said USA intelligence officials are seeing "persistent Russian efforts using social media, sympathetic spokespeople and other fronts to sow discord and divisiveness amongst the American people, though not necessarily focused on specific politicians or political campaigns". Trump and Putin are going to discuss a range of topics including national security and bilateral ties on Monday.

On Friday, Trump suggested that the indictments were more embarrassing than helpful.

Nonetheless, Bolton said the indictment is a "serious matter" that Trump needs to talk about it with Putin.

Trump himself told CBS on Sunday that he's going into the meeting with "low expectations". "I do believe in meetings".

Trump says he believes such get-togethers are beneficial. "But I don't think it's bad for the president that this is out there because it's clear he has to raise it". "There must be other Americans in the room".

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