Published: Fri, June 29, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump and Putin to meet in Helsinki in July

Trump and Putin to meet in Helsinki in July

Republican strategist Rick Wilson mocked President Donald Trump for passing along Kremlin propaganda shortly before his summit was announced with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

"We're looking forward to it".

But he said the meeting should be much more substantive than Trump's summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which Coons characterized as "more press event".

Trump listed Syria and Ukraine among the many subjects he said they would discuss.

Wherever and whenever it occurs, the summit is all but certain to intensify scrutiny of the White House's relationship with Russian Federation amid ongoing US federal investigations into contacts between Trump's presidential campaign and Kremlin-linked officials on the road to Trump's 2016 election win.

Mr Trump has long expressed a desire for better relations with Moscow, even as Washington tightens sanctions. He has repeatedly praised his authoritarian peer while straining ties with numerous United States' closest allies.

What are we to make of this meeting with Putin at this time?

Mr Putin insisted Moscow had never sought confrontation and that, in his view, the poor state of relations was a result of fierce political confrontation inside the USA itself.

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The crowd started chanting , "We care!", referring to first lady Melania Trump's wardrobe choice in Texas last week. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and called for the organization's dissolution.

Trump also rattled his G-7 allies with blistering rhetoric about their trading relationships with the United States and a series of scathing remarks about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Their last meeting was in November at an Asia-Pacific meeting.

The meeting comes amid FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

With allegations still swirling about Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election, President Trump has been very cautious with his diplomatic ties with Russian officials.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN on Monday that he has "no problem" with Trump and Putin sitting down, yet Trump has to "go in from a position of strength".

Moscow and Washington struck a deal on Wednesday to hold the summit, a move likely to worry some USA allies and draw a fiery reaction from some of Trump's critics at home. In 1975, President Gerald Ford traveled to the Finnish capital to sign the Helsinki Accord that eased relations between the USA and Soviet Union.

The summit is also boost for Finland, whose capital hosted major Cold War summits between leaders such as Leonid Brezhnev and Gerald Ford in 1975, and Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush in 1990, as well as a meeting between Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton in 1997. Their meeting offers yet another historical precedent for Finland as a site where American and Russian leaders have come together in the past.

CBS News' Mark Knoller reports that this will be the latest in a series of presidential visits to Helsinki for diplomatic talks with their Russian counterparts.

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