Trump On Putin Meeting: 'I'm Not Going With High Expectations'

Nellie Chapman
July 16, 2018

"Tell us where you're going to extradite those folks", said Representative Trey Gowdy, who chaired a raucous House investigative hearing on Thursday that highlighted bitter, partisan divisions within the US Congress over a probe of Russian election meddling that has clouded Trump's presidency.

Protests were already underway in Helsinki on Sunday as President Donald Trump left Scotland, bound for the Finnish capital ahead of his Monday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Well, I have to say, I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said in a tense exchange with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on July 11.

The President added that "Russia is a foe in certain respects".

"China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe", he told CBS. "It means that they are competitive", Trump said.

The meeting with Putin is the final agenda item in Trump's busy week, which kicked off in Brussels on July 11 with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

"It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend", a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russian Federation told the Washington Post in 2017.

Interviewed on ABC'S "This Week", Bolton said the summit will start with a "direct one-on-one conversation" between Trump and Putin and what happens from there "will be determined by the two parties". "And I will absolutely bring that up", Trump said.

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"Well, I think we have a lot of foes".

Always favouring bold gambits that would separate him from his predecessors, Trump believed that the historic meeting with Kim was potentially his ticket for a Nobel Peace Prize and would become an essential part of his legacy.

Of course, Trump's criticism of the Obama administration rings hollow, as he has repeatedly cast doubt on Russia's election interference and has appeared reluctant to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable, instead praising him and seeking warmer relations with Moscow.

"They're going to be paying Russian Federation billions and billions of dollars a year for energy, and I say that's not good, that's not fair", Trump told CBS.

In an interview on Sunday, Trump downplayed the significance of the tete a tete. She added that Trump also said: "Don't walk away".

The city's mayor, Jan Vapaavuori, said he wasn't anxious about them, saying the city is prepared and that Finland has a long history of peaceful protests. "I think it's ridiculous", he told CBS. Putin has denied Russian meddling in the election, which was won by Trump.

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday unveiled formal charges against 12 Russian GRU intelligence agents who "conducted large-scale cyber operations to interfere" with the election - from phishing to malware and Bitcoin mining to copy, steal and release emails and data from the political campaign of Trump's 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton.

Must the GRU assume that officers named in Friday's indictment are now "blown" for further secret operations? "I really would feel much better if there were other Americans in the room.".

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