Trump sets expectations 'low' for Helsinki summit with Putin

Frederick Owens
July 18, 2018

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday to congratulate the winning team, President Vladimir Putin, and Russian Federation after the World Cup final, which he called "one of the best ever!" Trump and Putin are scheduled to hold talks Monday in Finland, a meeting largely sought by Trump.

"This is not a witch hunt and it is certainly not a joke, as Donald Trump has desperately and incorrectly argued in the past", Perez said in a statement.

"I think we have a lot of foes", Trump said.

"I think at the heart of all this has always been the fact that crimes were committed against individual Americans, including myself, but also crimes committed against the American democracy", Podesta told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. "Our guy here is like an amateur boxer going up against Muhammad Ali".

"Mr. Putin is a trained KGB intelligence veteran who will come to this meeting well-prepared", they wrote.

On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's alleged efforts to interfere in the general election.

"This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves", Graham wrote on Twitter.

Trump shakes hands with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during the their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg

"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", Bolton said.

He cited his historic meeting last month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well as meetings he has had with China's Xi Jinping. Among senior Democrats, concern remains that he may do just that when he meets Putin three days after 12 Russians were indicted over the theft of data from Democratic bodies ahead of the 2016 election. "They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration", Trump said in Sunday's interview.

The president said "nothing bad is going to come out of it (Helsinki), and maybe some good will come out".

Democratic leaders have called for Mr Trump to cancel the summit in the light of the indictments.

"The main thing is zero collusion, and it has had an impact on the two largest nuclear powers in the world", he said. "We have asked, and the Russians have agreed, that it will be basically unstructured". "I think we need to be done with this, so we can start actually protecting our elections from foreign countries".

Mueller has secured indictments against several former Trump campaign aides, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn.

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