Trump will focus on Russia's 'malign' activity at summits

Frederick Owens
July 6, 2018

Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin will meet July 15 in Helsinki, Finland. Trump also rejected the joint communique signed by leaders at the conclusion of the meeting, launching personal attacks against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the process. Francis said a bipartisan team on the trip would've been best, and she said that the idea of Russian Federation dropping their foreign election-meddling tactics on their own "will never happen".

Kay Bailey Hutchison, the USA representative to NATO, said the major theme of the NATO summit would be the trans-Atlantic alliance's "strength and unity", despite repeated criticisms by Trump of alliance members who have yet to meet a commitment to boost their defense spending. "You know, President Putin is KGB, ' and this and that", Trump told a rally in Great Falls, Montana. "We have to be vocal about it, on guard about it", said Francis.

"They're going, "Will President Trump be prepared?"

European allies are also concerned about election meddling by Russian Federation.

When questioned about the need for a private meeting between the two, a White House official said it's coming at the right time for direct communication and referred to Trump's recent success at the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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The prospect of Trump and Putin meeting alone has raised concern among members of the US national security community, some of whom have fretted that Putin, who has served as either president or prime minister since 2000, will use the meeting to gain leverage over the U.S.

He said conversations "on election meddling, on Ukraine, on Syria" have happened "through diplomatic channels, but there hasn't been a full airing of the issues in our bilateral relationship that really matter most to global stability".

Earlier this week, Trump said that he was planning to "talk to him [Putin] about everything", mentioning such issues as Syria, Ukraine and claims of Russian meddling in the U.S. election in 2016.

"Will I be prepared?" "Trust me, we'll do just fine... and I might even end up having a good relationship".

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