Heading into Putin meeting, Trump again bashes allies, avoids election-meddling issue

The US President Donald trump called themes that they planned to discuss during the meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin on 16 July in Helsinki.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in the day if Trump raises the issue of Russia's alleged meddling in the USA election at talks in Helsinki, Putin will be ready to once again deny it.

Bolton then defended Trump's "we'll see" comment, noting that the President often uses that term to show "that he's willing to talk to foreign leaders about a range of issues and hear their perspective".

He said Putin said: "There was no meddling in 2016 by the Russian state".

He also pressed Bolton on reporting that Trump had said at the G7 that "Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian". "I think the president will have a conversation about this and say, 'We don't want to see meddling in the 2018 election".

"No, that's not the position of the United States" Bolton said.

The Republican president said he would raise the issue of election meddling with Putin as well as Russia's role in Syria and Ukraine.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov had told reporters that the venue of the summit was convenient for both sides.


'We don't want anybody tampering with elections, ' he said.

"Right, but saying "we'll see" suggests it might be", Brennan added. "We might be talking about some things President Obama lost".

The summit will take place four days after a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on July 11 and 12 in Brussels, Belgium, where Trump will meet leaders of United States military allies.

Trump's praise of Putin as a strong leader and his stated desire to forge better relations with Russian Federation are of concern to critics.

"They could agree on a joint statement outlining further steps from both sides to improve bilateral relations and joint action in the worldwide arena to ensure global stability and security", he said. "That's why the president is going to talk to him about it again".

He gave a similar answer when he was asked if he would lift the sanctions on Russian Federation.

The long-delayed summit comes at a time when Russia-U.S. relations have deteriorated to a record level due to multiple disputes including alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and divergence in Syria and Ukraine.

The July 16 US-Russia summit in Helsinki could reset a relationship dogged by decades of unsafe rivalry.


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