Trump, Putin summit in Helsinki to top their past encounters

Hugh Fox
July 16, 2018

"America and the European Union are best friends", Tusk wrote. "Do you know which team you play for?"

Mr Trump waved as they shouted: "No Trump, no KKK, no racist U.S.". At one point, he startled the Secret Service by giving Kim an impromptu tour of some mighty American machinery - the presidential limousine known as "The Beast".

Though the results from the North Korea summit are debatable, Trump has told confidants he believed it was a masterstroke. "They want to do well, and we want to do well".

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"I could say: 'Would you do me a favor?"

"I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade", he said in an interview to CBS News while in Scotland. "'Would you do me a favor? Tomorrow I go to Helsinki for a Monday meeting with Vladimir Putin".

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Tom Swarbrick, former adviser to Theresa May , told Euronews that Trump's comments were "the worst possible start to the trip". They gathered under a big "baby Trump " blimp, showing him snarling and holding a mobile phone, dressed in only a nappy.

The US president used a stormy G7 summit in Canada to ponder whether it was time to readmit Russian Federation to the club, and move past sanctions imposed over Moscow's seizure of the Crimea region from Ukraine. He reiterated the invitation on a call with Putin this spring and initially told aides that he wanted to have the meeting at the White House. John McCain, said the summit should be canceled in the wake of the indictments.

Trump, who has been preparing for the summit by playing golf at his Trump Turnberry course on the western coast of Scotland, told CBS in an interview that "nothing bad" would come out of the summit with Putin.

On Friday, 12 Russians were indicted on charges of interfering in the USA 2016 election, a development that prompted some Democratic leaders to call on Trump to cancel the Putin meeting, a demand he quickly dismissed.

The highly anticipated meeting comes after 12 Russians were charged with hacking in the 2016 USA elections.

But far from his prediction that the Putin meeting would be the "easiest" part of his swing through Europe, the summit comes freighted with new tensions, after 12 Russian military intelligence agents were indicted for hacking Democrats during the 2016 election.

Mr Trump and Mr Putin have met twice before, during global summits a year ago in Germany and Vietnam.

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"We've got a fraught bilateral relationship".

"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", he said.

The indictments issued Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller allege that the Russian hackers publicly released tens of thousands of stolen Democratic emails and documents using "fictitious online personas".

Trump has said he will raise the issue of Russian election meddling, along with Syria, Ukraine, nuclear proliferation and other topics.

He described the European Union, a bloc of nation's that includes many of America's closest allies, as a "foe", particularly on trade.


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Paul said both countries spy on each other but adds that Russian interference in the 2016 election isn't "morally equivalent" to US interference in Russian elections, but "I think in their mind it is".

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