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Trump to 'Firmly' Ask Putin About Russia's US Election Meddling

14 July 2018

This Friday morning, the US Department of Justice said it has charged 12 Russian hackers with attempting to meddle with the 2016 US presidential election, just three days before President Trump is scheduled to have a one-on-one summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Sunday, he will meet with the Hungarian prime minister, emir of Qatar, and will have talks with the leaders of the World Cup finalist nations, namely the presidents of France and Croatia, and with President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach. I think he's got what it takes, Trump told the Sun.

Trump, who shook North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies earlier in the week by demanding they increase defense spending, while criticizing the leaders of Germany and the United Kingdom, said he also planned to use the meeting with Putin to discuss Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, its support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and nuclear proliferation. "I would hope so".

But other Republican lawmakers expressed the same sentiment as House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce of California, who said in a statement that Trump should "should use today's indictments to challenge" Putin at the meeting.

Jack Reed said Trump should cancel the meeting outright. Referring to a TV courtroom drama aired in the 1950s and 1960s, he added, "There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think, but you never know what happens, right?"

A portion of the February 16, indictment against Russia's Internet Research Agency is photographed in Washington, March 15, 2018.

The GRU officers allegedly targeted emails belonging to "volunteers and employees of the USA presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton", and the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee.

Nikonov said Trump was now strong enough to pursue his own agenda. More protests are planned in Windsor, where the Trumps will meet the queen later, and in Scotland, where the president plans to spend the weekend at one of his golf courses.

"When you look at what we've done in terms of Russian Federation, I guarantee whoever it is in Russian Federation, they're saying 'oh gee, we wish that Trump was not the victor in that election?"

'A great meeting': Trump wants North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double defence spending
To Trump, and not only to him, we are being used, gouged, by rich nations we defend, while they skimp on their own defense. He said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 per cent by 2024 and no more .

Trump said that Putin is not an enemy but "a competitor" - and that while he doesn't see the Russian leader as a friend, "I think we get along well". All I can say is: "Did you?"

One of the other stunners in Friday's indictment is the revelation that it was known that Trump campaign officials were communicating with Guccifer 2.0 - a Russian hacker proven to be connected to Russian intelligence - about the information hacked and released publicly. It's a very, very bad policy.

The Russian and American leaders are also likely to discuss how to resolve a dispute over compliance with a 1987 treaty that bans the deployment of intermediate-range missiles on land.

"Hopefully, someday, maybe he'll be a friend", Trump added.

Some of the closest United States allies were still reeling from Trump's diatribe accusing Germany of being "a captive of Russia" and insistence that "delinquent" allies increase defense spending "immediately".

During Friday's news conference with May, Trump dismissed critics of the meeting, characterizing it as deliberations that led to positive results, including every member vowing to allocate more money for defense.

"It could open up new negotiations on a lower level that could actually achieve something", Raitasalo said. I've met him a couple of times. "But it could be a good start", said Raitasalo.

Trump to 'Firmly' Ask Putin About Russia's US Election Meddling