Trump says he won't turn 'Perry Mason' on Putin over election meddling

Leroy Wright
July 14, 2018

Officials in Finland say the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be held at one of the Finnish president's official residences in Helsinki.

The two leaders will meet after Trump's visit to Britain where he has criticised Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy, and Brussels where he blasted North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over their levels of defence spending.

Trump said his summit with Putin, which is to take place Monday in Helsinki, would be a loose meeting with "no big schedule" but one that could still be productive.

Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters: "Sometimes it feels like we punch our friends in the nose and hold our hand out to people who are working strongly against us, like Russian Federation and Putin". He furiously backpedaled away the comments on Friday, saying of May's Brexit talks: "Whatever you're going to do is OK with us".

US-Russian relations have suffered from years of disagreement over the Syrian conflict, Russia's annexation of Crimea and its involvement in eastern Ukraine.

However, the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian Federation did interfere in the presidential election.

'I will absolutely bring that up.

Seated alongside Mrs May at Chequers this morning, Mr Trump said: 'The relationship is very, very strong, we really have a very good relationship'. "To further avoid detection, the Conspirators used a network of computers located across the world, including in the United States, and paid for this infrastructure using cryptocurrency", USA investigators claim.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the summit "very intense", and other leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, played down the extent to which they had pledged to accelerate spending plans as fast as Trump wanted. He seldom talks about relations with Russian Federation in terms of America's strategic interests, whether they be military or economic or anything else, let alone Russia's actions.

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Put simply, Trump has been doing Putin's bidding ever since he got elected. They build on what the Obama administration did after US intelligence agencies concluded Moscow interfered in the 2016 election.

Asked when exactly the allies would now reach their 2 per cent of GDP target, Trump said it would over the coming years. Trump's is scheduled to meet with Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

But with Trump, every time is personal.

A US official said Trump would be ready to talk about New Start if Putin raised it, but it was not a big USA priority.

Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong - in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product. "So he knows what he's signed up to", Macron said.

"It reflects the way Trump and certainly some of the people in his orbit view things", Jeff Mankoff, deputy director of the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said in a phone interview.

According to a tweet from Bloomberg White House reporter Jennifer Epstein, the Trump-Putin summit is now still a go.

Trump arrived about a half-hour late to a North Atlantic Council meeting with Georgia and Ukraine, two countries who have both been invaded by Russian Federation in the last decade.

McCain's statement comes after the Justice Department announced charges Friday against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking into Democratic accounts during the 2016 presidential election.

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