President Trump Looks Forward to More Talks with Vladimir Putin

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin
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by Steve Herman

 

U.S. President Donald Trump, amid the uproar over his initial summit this week with Russia’s president, is indicating there could be a second such meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Trump, writing on Twitter, called Monday’s summit in Helsinki “a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.”

In another Thursday morning tweet, the U.S. president accused mainstream media in the country of desiring “so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war.”

Putin is blaming political forces within the United States for attempting to undermine his summit with his American counterpart.

In his first public comments since departing Finland concerning his meeting with Trump, Putin told Russian diplomats, “We see that there are forces in the United States that are prepared to casually sacrifice Russian-U.S. relations, to sacrifice them for their ambitions in the course of an internal political battle in the United States.”

The Russian president said it would be “naive to think that the problems” between the world’s biggest nuclear superpowers “would be solved in a few hours.” But he said “the path to positive changes has all the same begun. It’s important that a full-scale meeting has finally taken place, allowing us to talk directly. We will see how things develop further.”

Putin also indicated that the talks on Monday led to “useful agreements.” There have been no details from White House or other U.S. administration officials about any such agreements.

VOA has queried White House press officials for a comment on Putin’s assertion concerning agreements. There has been no immediate response.

Trump was widely condemned by U.S. political figures, his Republican colleagues and opposition Democrats alike, for his performance at Monday’s Helsinki news conference alongside Putin, where he sided with the Russian president’s denial that Moscow had meddled in the 2016 election to try to help Trump win.

Trump’s position conflicted with the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia had interfered in the election.

Since returning from his week-long trip to Europe,Trump has backtracked, saying while he accepts Russia meddled in the election, his campaign did not collude with Russian operatives.

In an interview Wednesday, Trump told CBS News that he told Putin that Russia must not meddle in future U.S. elections.

Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Thursday said the United States needs to be prepared for an attempt by Russia to interfere in elections in every state this year, adding there is no question Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

But she added she had not “seen any evidence that the attempts to interfere in our election infrastructure was to favor a particular party.”

A Senate Intelligence Committee report released two weeks ago supported the conclusion of three U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia tried to help Trump, the Republican Party nominee, win the election.

In a new report, The New York Times said key national security officials in the administration of former President Barack Obama gave Trump a full-blown account of the extent of Russian meddling in the election two weeks before Trump took office, singling out Putin’s direct role in carrying out the interference.

But after the briefing, Trump issued a statement spreading the blame among “Russia, China and other countries, outside groups and countries.”

The president has routinely dismissed special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing criminal investigation into Russian interference as both a hoax perpetrated by Democrats to explain Trump’s upset victory and a “witch hunt” aimed at undermining his presidency.

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Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 VOA News

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