A 'Good Start': Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki


Those were the first moments of Mr Putin's arrival for his much-anticipated summit meeting with his American counterpart Donald Trump on Monday (July 16) - and they underscored his honed ability to maximise the power of the image and the drama of high-profile, made-for-TV political events. He added that he had spent a great deal of time talking to Putin about the accusations of election meddling, but that he had "no reason to believe" that President Putin's government had interfered with the United States presidential campaign in 2016.

This isn't a gift, however: "We'd expect the U.S.to reciprocate" and have USA law enforcement invite Russians to observe interrogations of American citizens Putin accuses of breaking the law in Russia.

"The disagreements between our two countries are well-known and President Putin and I discussed them at length today", Trump said.

- Trump said, "Putin was incredibly strong and powerful in his denial today".

The US Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, also issued a statement saying that the intelligence community had been clear about Russia's "ongoing, pervasive attempts" to undermine US democracy.

Police in Helsinki announced they were notified of more than ten demonstrations ahead of Monday's meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

"I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia]", he replied, before quickly trying to defer to the Democratic National Committee's server that was hacked.

Hovering over Helsinki is the spectre of the 2016 election interference and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian Federation. He said this all while standing next to Putin.

"If you really claim you had nothing to do with it then you should be as shocked as we were that your military was being used to impact our election". I think that the United States has been foolish.

"I think that's an incredible offer".

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Also on Monday, the U.S. government charged a Russian woman with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation. "I'm horrified - and have never been more proud of the fact that Putin hates my father so much he personally sanctioned him on Russia's enemies list". "I think those people like me a lot".

"We have not been getting along well for the last number of years", Trump said after arriving at the Presidential Palace in Finland's capital, where the leaders are meeting. "We have 90 percent of the nuclear and that's not a good thing, it's a bad thing".

"Diplomacy and engagement are better than hostility", Trump said.

What did President Trump say?

He also continued to blame his predecessor, Barack Obama, for failing to stop Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election in his favour, claiming that when Obama "was informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Russian meddling, he said it couldn't happen, was no big deal, and did nothing about it".

To do otherwise would be another example of what Trump calls "U.S. foolishness and stupidity".

Trump also said during the interview that he thought the biggest threat to the world is nuclear weapons.

"I consider them (the talks) very successful and useful", Putin said, praising the "frank and business-like atmosphere" of the summit.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Republican, was openly critical of the president's assessment of Russia's conduct: "There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world".