Trump meets Putin after denouncing 'stupidity' of USA policy on Russian Federation

Charlene Craig
July 21, 2018

"I respect the leaders of those countries", Trump said.

"I go into a meeting like that never with high expectations, but maybe some really good stuff can happen", he said. He said Trump was not well enough prepared for the meeting.

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.

"I've heard it called a summit".

In a weekend interview with CBS News, 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.

In a separate interview, John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, said no "concrete deliverables" were anticipated from the "basically unstructured" event.

President Trump's effort to reset relations with Russian Federation backfired at home after he failed to side with the USA intelligence community over Moscow's interference in the 2016 election. However, their extradition is highly unlikely.

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The 11-count indictmentnames the Russians defendants, alleging they began cyber-attacks in March 2016 on the email accounts of staff for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

The United States has no extradition treaty with Moscow and can't compel Russian Federation to hand over citizens, and a provision in Russia's constitution prohibits extraditing its citizens to foreign countries.

Democrats, however, said he should cancel the Helsinki summit, arguing the indictments revealed the lengths to which Putin had gone to meddle in the election that brought Trump to power. We should have known how closely the press would pay attention to the two leaders' first in-person words to each other, and we were remiss in not suggesting some things to the president to say that would seize the upper hand in the battle for attention.

He blamed the Democratic National Committee for "allowing themselves to be hacked".

Many in Washington were agog at Trump's decision to sit alone with Putin, anxious about what he might give away to the former KGB spymaster, after previously cosying up to the autocratic leaders of China and North Korea. "But that doesn't mean they are bad", he said. "Certainly I'll be asking about it", Trump said.

Russian media did have rather tempered expectations of how much Putin can concretely get from the summit, but hoped for progress on solutions for Syria and Mideast tensions.

But asked directly whether he believed that assessment, Trump was noncommittal. "Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russian Federation". Trump tweeted. "Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems (.) know how to do is resist and obstruct!"

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The Minnesota Republican Party , however, issued a statement supporting the president and so did Republican State Rep. However, the average approval rating for Trump's treatment remained low, at 42 percent of registered voters.

Lindsey Graham of SC called the summit a "missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russian Federation accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections".

"Right now, there's no trust in the relationship and, because of that, problem-solving is practically impossible", Huntsman said.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today", Trump said during a joint news conference.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who recently returned from a visit to Moscow, warned that "the Russians are very prepared to argue on so many issues that they're not in the wrong". Putin has met with three previous USA presidents before Mr. Trump, but there has never been such a private session of this magnitude between Putin and a US leader.

For their part, protesters have been on the streets of Helsinki to denounce the policies of both Trump and Putin.

And at this point, USA sanctions against Russian Federation over the annexation still remain in place, many of them dating back to the Obama administration in 2014.

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Ryan said he had not spoken with Trump, who hosted Republican members of Congress to discuss another round of tax cuts. Republicans may have been relieved, but they still have questions about that two hour meeting with Putin.

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