Sticking points for Putin and Trump

16 July, 2018, 10:28 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • On eve of Russia summit, Trump calls EU foe

On Sunday, just before he departed for Helsinki, Mr Trump described the European Union as a foe on trade.

And on the eve of his meeting with Putin, who has cracked down on the free press, Trump unleashed a series of attacks on the media as Air Force One descended into Helsinki, complaining that Democrats and the press were unlikely to give him credit for any summit accomplishments.

The police said 16 or more demonstrations were registered before and during the summit, and on Sunday around 2,500 people got together at the city's Senate Square to protest against the summit and Trump.

But he told CBS that he was going into it with "low expectations".

"Putin has less to lose and more to gain because he does not have a domestic opposition, a potentially hostile legislature, and is not begin investigated like Trump". But last week, the Justice Department announced the indictments of 12 Russian agents for hacking into Democratic emails during the campaign.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has said both sides have agreed the meeting will have no set agenda. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I can tell you what I'll be asking for and we'll see if something comes of it".

On "Face the Nation", Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and Sen. Hovering over Helsinki is the spectre of the 2016 election interference and ongoing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian Federation.

Asked whether he would press his Russian counterpart to send to the US members of the Russian military intelligence agency accused of hacking Hillary Clinton's failed presidential campaign, he said: "Well, I might". He's a thug. He does not respect the rule of law.

'People Should Recognise That I'm One of the World's Best'
They had also good chances, but second half we did it much, much better. At the moment it's all good and we don't have to make decisions.

The campaign uses headlines taken from the newspaper, including, "Trump calls media the enemy of the people, "Putin shuts down Russia's largest news agency", and "Trump cabinet selects appropriate reporters".

Trump has repeatedly called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt". The Republican National Committee, on the other hand, had "much better defenses", Trump claimed.

He said the summit is important as the start of a dialogue, not only about election meddling but a range of issues. "I hadn't thought of that, but certainly I'll be asking about it".

The outlines of what would be a hugely controversial deal have emerged in press reports that suggest Putin is keen to exploit Trump's desire to pull U.S. troops out of Syria by offering to rein in Iranian influence there. "Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe". Investigators believe the incident is linked to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in March.

With the foes at loggerheads over Syria, Ukraine, pipeline policy, espionage and election interference, even Trump cautioned: "I'm not going with high expectations". He said Trump was not well enough prepared for the meeting.

"Well I think we have a lot of foes - I think the European Union is a foe - what they do to us in trade", Trump said.

He was returning to the White House after Monday's meeting with Putin in Helsinki, the Finnish capital. The talks are likely to be followed by a joint news conference.

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