Putin arrives in Helsinki late for Trump meeting

Putin arrives in Helsinki late for Trump meeting

Putin also suggested Monday that Moscow and Washington could jointly conduct criminal investigations into a dozen Russian intelligence officials accused of hacking during the 2016 US election campaign - an idea Trump hailed as an "incredible offer". Relations between the press and government officials in both the US and Russian Federation have been problematic throughout the years.

In a weekend interview with CBS News, Trump admitted that Russian Federation remains a foe, but he put Moscow on a par with China and the European Union as economic and diplomatic rivals.

In February, Moscow said a number of Russian civilians were killed by US-led coalition bombing. "I appreciated your support", Trump said. He has pointed to his efforts to boost US oil exports and increase military spending as measures that would not win any points with Putin.

Democrats have slammed Trump for his behavior at last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, where he publicly criticized member nations for what he considered insufficient defense spending, and for his criticisms of British Prime Minister Theresa May when he visited England.

"I would not have said it the way John (Brennan) said it. John can say it the way he wants to say it".

"I had to repeat what I have already said many times before - the Russian state has never interfered and is not planning to interfere in the USA's internal affairs", Putin said.

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The lack of a stated agenda, along with insistence by the United States on giving Putin and Trump time alone, has anxious many pundits in the U.S. who harbor suspicions about Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

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Trump and Putin spent their first two hours speaking alone, joined only by their interpreters.

At the news conference, Trump was invited by reporters to offer any criticism of Russian Federation but he repeatedly declined. "Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russian Federation".

Trump's U.S. opponents tried, in turn, to gain traction for the hashtag #BAF (Blame America First). "But I will absolutely firmly ask the question".

"I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked", Trump told CBS News. Those agents broke into Democratic Party email servers, stole tens of thousands of messages, and leaked them on Russian-controlled web sites. "President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today".

The Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted back: "We agree".

Israel is deeply concerned about Iran's presence in Syria, where Iranian forces and proxies have been fighting on behalf of the Syrian government, which is also supported by Russian Federation.

Syria, Ukraine, and arms control are other likely topics of conversation. They may underline the importance of continuing the discussions, setting the stage for discussions on expert level.

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