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Presidents Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin express optimism at Helsinki summit

Presidents Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin express optimism at Helsinki summit

The president also tells CBS News that he "hadn't thought" about asking Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in Washington on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 us election, but says that 'certainly I'll be asking about it'.

Later in an interview with Fox News's Chris Wallace, Putin said "we don't have anything on [Trump]".

When asked last month if he would recognize Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, he replied: "We're going to have to see".

"I think it's pretty silly for the president to demand something that he can't get legally, " Bolton said.

Trump has always been at odds with his own intelligence community, largely clashing over a report released by USA intelligence officials concluding that Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Earlier on Friday, President Trump said that he will "absolutely" ask his Russian counterpart about Moscow's alleged involvement in the USA presidential election. "It means that they are competitive". He says he ran a "brilliant campaign and that's why I'm president".

Trump was a destabilizing presence at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation earlier in his European trip, torching allies and demanding more defense spending before eventually reaffirming his commitment to the military alliance.

His handling of the Putin meeting drew scathing reactions from lawmakers. "I appreciated your support", Trump said. "Look, I believe that having a meeting with Chairman Kim was a good thing". Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., posted on Twitter.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was also sharply critical.




Just a few hours before the start of the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the USA president harshly criticized Washington's policy toward Moscow and the "Russia probe" against him as damaging bilateral relations.

The summit began with a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin - with only translators present - which blew past its scheduled 90 minutes.

He also suggested that Putin "may want to address it and very strongly because he feels very strongly about it and he has an interesting idea". The summit also started almost an hour late.

At the same time, Trump has floated the idea of allowing Russian Federation back into the G-7, making it the G-8 once again.

"It isn't a summit", U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman told NBC'S "Meet the Press".

Trump admitted in a Good Morning Britain interview released on Monday that he doesn't actually know Putin that well; maybe the former KGB agent who kills his political and media opponents is a "ruthless" guy, maybe not.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating U.S. intelligence findings that Russians conspired to sway the 2016 election in Mr Trump's favour. Undeterred, the American president is set to go face to face with Mr Putin, the authoritarian leader for whom he has expressed admiration.

"Zero collusion", Trump said.

In response, Mrs May's spokesman said: "We have said before that it is important we engage in constructive dialogue to find the right way forward when it comes to the disagreement now taking place on tariffs".

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