Trump and Putin open historic summit

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

At a news conference after Monday's meeting in Helsinki, Trump said he had stressed the importance of putting pressure on Iran, an ally of Russian Federation. What if the president, rather than doing things like criticizing foreign leaders who allegedly murder people in allies' countries, who invade neighboring countries and who try to subvert American democracy, instead tried a little kindness?

Tensions have been brewing since the U.S Intelligence Community declared Russian Federation tried to meddle with the results of the 2016 USA elections.

"Usually it's a bit of a love fest", on calls between Trump and Putin, a source close to Trump told Axios, but on this subject, Trump was angry.

"Presidents Trump and Putin respect each other and they get along well", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Trump blamed Washington's own past "foolishness and stupidity" for bad relations.

The Helsinki summit is the capstone to a almost week-long trip for Trump during which he has sown doubts about his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance, Washington's so-called special relationship with Britain, and USA relations with the European Union that he called "a foe" in trade terms.

Trump held his meeting just days after a special prosecutor in the United States indicted 12 Russian agents for stealing Democratic Party documents to help him win the vote.

Trump refused to say last week whether he was prepared to recognize Crimea as Russian territory, even though his national security adviser has said that's not the position of the United States. "But if you want to stay in this tit for tat we're going to beat you", Coats said.

Despite Russia's semi-pariah status among some Americans and USA allies, the Kremlin has always been trying to arrange a summit, betting that Putin and Trump will get on well and stop a sharp downwards spiral in bilateral ties.

He made no criticism of Russian Federation on any of the issues that have brought relations between the two powers to the lowest ebb since the Cold War.

The fresh indictments prompted a number of USA senators, all but one Democrats, to request Trump cancel his summit with Putin. Browder was a driving force behind a USA law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses.

President Donald Trump Monday appeared to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election, prompting a sharply critical response from USA lawmakers.

Trump "tweeted that America is at fault, blame America first for the tensions in U.S. -Russia relations", McFaul said during an appearance on MSNBC Monday morning.

Russian Federation has denied any interference. He called it "nonsense" and insisted the Russian state had never interfered and would never interfere in the American electoral process. He said,"I would like to congratulate you on a very great world cup, one of the best ever". "We have discussions on everything from trade to military to missiles to nuclear to China", he said in opening remarks, seated next to Putin.

"I think we have great opportunities together".

"I think the probe is a disaster for our country", Trump said.

Trump and Putin have met briefly at other events, but this will be the first time the two will have extended talks. They met on the sidelines of world leader meetings in Germany and Vietnam a year ago. He nodded along to some of Trump's remarks before they were translated, showcasing his fluency in English.

The body language was awkward, but television footage later showed Mr. Trump offering a stone-faced Mr. Putin a reassuring wink.

The indictments of the Russian military officials Friday created a clear line of questioning Trump could ask Putin, yet Trump seems unlikely to push Putin on the hacking.

It will be interesting to see whether the men take questions and if so, what reporters ask, given that both Trump and Putin have attacked the press, with Putin going as far as ordering adversarial reporters killed.

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