Trump meets Putin on Monday

Erika Holt
July 14, 2018

However as he arrived for a working lunch with the British prime minister he said they had "probably never developed a better relationship" than during last night's dinner at Blenheim Palace.

Trump's visit to Britain followed two days of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Belgium, where the US president shook up the conference with rhetoric about other members failing to meet fiscal defense requirements, the possibility that he could end the United States' 70-year membership in the alliance and Germany being "captive" to Russian energy.

"We want to find out about Syria".

Negotiations would then be widened to include members of both delegations, he said, adding that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold parallel talks in Helsinki with his USA counterpart, Mike Pompeo.

Though Trump has not so far given specific details about what nuclear arms control treaties they would like to talk about, he and Putin are likely to discuss the possibility of extending the "New Start" treaty - a pillar of arms control.

Trump's campaign and transition team have been accused of colluding with Russian agents in an effort to influence the 2016 United States election against Hillary Clinton. "But I will absolutely, firmly ask the question". Trump said he will raise the issue of election meddling again in his July 16 meeting with Putin.

"I will absolutely, firmly ask the question" about interference in the USA election, Trump said at a news conference on Friday with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers, her country estate.

After Trump spoke, French President Emmanuel Macron said nothing had changed from NATO's earlier commitment, despite Trump's claims.

He downplayed the Helsinki summit, saying: "I think we go into that meeting not looking for so much".

"We have this stupidity going on, pure stupidity, but it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation, because, anything you do, it's like: 'Russia, oh He loves Russian Federation'".

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On Thursday, Trump had said, "I think they like me a lot in the U.K".

"The president's task is to reverse his disturbing tendency to show America's adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies", McCain said.

US lawmakers want Trump, both privately with Putin and publicly, to condemn Russia's actions.

Putin won re-election for six more years in March with opposition leader Alexei Navalny barred from running on what he says was a false pretext. "But I love getting along with Russian Federation and China and other countries".

In the interview with Britain's The Sun, Trump said a new trade deal with the United States was unlikely because of May's Brexit negotiation tactics.

Hours later, Rosenstein unveiled the indictments of 12 Russians, all Russian intelligence officers, that special counsel Robert Mueller alleged "engaged in a sustained effort to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the DNC and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton".

Trump demurred on a question of whether the USA and Russian Federation could realistically build a stronger alliance given Moscow's intervention in Ukraine. Perhaps at the summit in Helsinki, he will further thank Putin for swinging the American election his way. President Trump has yet to weigh in on his personal Twitter account.

"This was an Obama disaster", Trump 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.

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