On eve of Russian Federation summit, Trump calls European Union 'a foe'

Saul Bowman
July 19, 2018

Ultranationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky was among those brushing off new indictments of Russians accused of hacking the 2016 USA presidential campaign, calling it implausible that a dozen Russians could have damaged the American electoral system.

Trump quickly added, "If they had it, it would've been out by now".

Putin also suggested that the two countries form a joint working group on cybersecurity that would look into the election issue.

Russia had earlier denied meddling in the USA election campaign, while Trump called special counsel Mueller's probe on the Russian interference a "political witch hunt". "I don't see any reason why it would be", President Trump said, standing at podium side-by-side with the Russian president during a joint press conference Putin in Helsinki, Finland. "It's kept us apart, it's kept us separated".

Trump said Putin's denial of meddling in the election was "extremely strong and powerful".

"You know, an indictment isn't a press release", he schooled Trump. "There was nobody to collude with".

Chants of "We love Trump, We love Trump" broke out as the president's motorcade passed, and Trump waved.

Speaking on the BBC, she said: "He told me I should sue the European Union - not go into negotiations".

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the upper house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, wrote in Izvestia that Monday's talks come at a time when "so-called "peace-loving" Europe is afraid of peace talks between USA and Russian Federation".

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said, "this answer by President Trump will be seen by Russian Federation as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves". "And hopefully we will solve every one of the problems that we discussed today".

Trump and Putin have held talks several times before.

Ahead of Trump-Putin meeting, lack of preparation leads to low expectations: Sources

Mr Trump also told ITV's Good Morning Britain that Mrs May should seek a "carve out" in any Brexit deal with the European Union which would allow the United Kingdom to secure a trade agreement with the US.

They were then joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Chief of Staff John Kelly and their Russian counterparts for further discussions.

By comparison, there were multiple deputy NSC meetings to prepare for the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month.

"Frankly, we have not been getting along for the last number of years".

Trump also praised Putin for holding the World Cup, which finished up Sunday.

President Donald Trump blamed the United States, and not Russian election meddling or the country's annexation of Crimea, for a low-point in U.S. -Russia relations hours before a summit with Vladimir Putin that played out against a backdrop of fraying Western alliances, a new peak in the Russia investigation and fears that Moscow's aggression may go unchallenged.

He said he was glad to see his United States counterpart "on the hospitable Finnish soil". We have 90 percent of the nuclear, and that's not a good thing.

Trump in a tweet is blaming the hostilities on "many years of USA foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"

"I go in with very low expectations".

"I would guess he's having caviar right now", said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The two men, who have praised each other's leadership qualities from afar, could also agree to start restocking their respective embassies and returning confiscated diplomatic property after a wave of expulsions and retaliatory action prompted by the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

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