Trump Tells Putin: ‘We have great opportunities together as two countries’
“I really think the world wants to see us get along.”
President Donald Trump met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, this morning around 6:30 AM ET.
Trump told CBS News that he had “low expectations” going into the meeting.
On Sunday night, Fox News listed the topics Trump and Putin supposedly discussed during the meeting:
Russian Meddling in 2016 Election
Press Conference Before Private Meeting
Before the conference, Trump sent a tweet that blasted the U.S. as the cause of escalating tensions.
Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018
Or maybe it could possibly be Russia meddling in the affairs of former Soviet republics, annexing Crimea, and engaging in a war in eastern Ukraine. While Robert Mueller’s investigation hasn’t produced evidence of any collusion between Trump and Russia during the campaign, it has shown that Russia tried to mess with our election or at least cause chaos.
Trump and Putin held a press conference before they went into their 90-minute private meeting. From The Wall Street Journal:
Speaking at the Presidential Palace at the outset of their one-on-one meeting, which is expected to last about 90 minutes, Mr. Trump said the two leaders would discuss issues related to trade, the military, nuclear weapons, missiles and China, including their “mutual friend” Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“We have great opportunities together as two countries,” Mr. Trump said, as the two leaders sat beside each other, with American and Russian flags arrayed behind them. “Frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years…I really think the world wants to see us get along.”
“We are the two great nuclear powers,” Mr. Trump added. “We have 90% of the nuclear—and that’s not a good thing, it’s a bad thing.”
“Now is the time to have a serious conversation about our bilateral relations and about various sore spots in the world, and there are many of those,” Mr. Putin said.
Unfortunately, Trump didn’t have a note-taker nor did he take notes during the meeting. Reportedly, he was concerned about leaks. Putin had a paper and pen, worrying some former and current officials since this will probably give Russia the only on-the-record details about the meeting.
And we all know how trustworthy Russia is when it comes to facts.
Trump is not wrong when he says he’s been tough on Russia. His administration has passed sanctions on Russia, including Alexei Miller, the top shot at Gazprom and someone I never expected to see on a sanctions list. The administration also expelled Russian diplomats over election meddling and allegations they poisoned a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom.
Putin wants Trump to soften the sanctions on Russia, but by law, Trump cannot do so without permission from Congress. People on the sanctions list “face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.”
Fox News reported that Trump and Putin were likely to “discuss a tentative deal to move Iranian troops farther from Israel’s border with Syria and Jordan, in exchange for allowing access there to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.” Iran has used Syria as a launching pad for attacks on Israel, leading Trump to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend:
“Yesterday I spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump,” Netanyahu said in Israel on Sunday. “We discussed security and diplomatic issues arising from regional developments, chief most among them, of course, Syria and Iran.
“I thanked President Trump for his tough policy against Iran because since this policy has been taken, we have seen a great effect on Iran and inside Iran,” he added. “President Trump reiterated with sharp clarity his commitment to the security of Israel and his willingness to help Israel in various realms and, of course, I thanked him for that.”
Our European allies have shown support for Trump’s meeting with Putin despite the backlash the meeting brings at home. However, NATO countries are concerned Trump “might make concessions on Crimea and reverse the long standing U.S. and NATOP position that Crimea belongs to Ukraine.” Jon Huntsman, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, told Fox News that he believes it is “highly unlikely” Trump will “recognize Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, but refused to rule out the possibility.”
After the Private Meeting
Trump and Putin faced the press after their almost two-hour meeting. Trump described the meeting as a “good start” and a “[V]ery, very good start for everybody.”
Putin mentioned that Trump brought up Russia meddling in our 2016 election. Of course, Putin denied it. From The Washington Examiner:
“Once again, President Trump mentioned the issue of the so-called interference of Russia in the American elections and I had to reiterate things,” Putin said in Russian at the two leaders’ joint press conference. “I said several times including our personal contacts the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere into internal American affairs including the election process.”
“Any specific material, if such things arise, we are ready to analyze together,” Putin continued. “For instance, we can analyze them through the joint working group on cybersecurity, the establishment of which we discussed during our previous contacts. And clearly the last time we restore our cooperation in the cultural area and humanitarian area.”
Putin denies meddling even though a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly hacking and publishing emails from the DNC and Hilary’s campaign. However, Trump said “Putin has offered to let US investigators question the 12 officers in tandem with Russian investigators.”
In a disturbing twist, Trump decided to side with Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial that Russia interfered with our election instead, contrary to the evidence produced by our intelligence community. Even the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Russian meddled in the election.
Putin: “The Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere into internal American affairs including [the] election process.” pic.twitter.com/P9waYDmR6Y
— Axios (@axios) July 16, 2018
Yet, Putin said that “he treated Trump with ‘utmost respect’ when Trump visited Moscow several years ago.” Putin finds it to be “utter nonsense” that anyone would think the two men would compile “compromising information on anyone.
Putin also claimed the Cold War is over:
Putin: “The Cold War is a thing of the past. The era of acute ideological confrontation of the two countries is a thing of remote past, is a vestige of the past.” pic.twitter.com/In1PedqvJN
— Axios (@axios) July 16, 2018
Trump told Putin it was wrong for Russia to annex Crimea.
Putin: “President Trump’s position on Crimea is well known… he maintains it was illegal to annex it. Our position is different.”
— Kevin Cirilli (@kevcirilli) July 16, 2018
Trump also blamed both countries for their deteriorating relationship. While our relationship has been crumbling for years, all of that has changed within four hours in Finland.
.@POTUS: “Cooperation between our two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.” https://t.co/K8jvaWGLHd pic.twitter.com/fX49ct7qqo
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 16, 2018
Overall? A disaster of a press conference. From Axios:
President Trump today, at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he didn’t see “any reason” why Russia would interfere in the 2016 election, in response to a question on whether he believed Putin or U.S. intelligence agencies.
Our thought bubble from Jonathan Swan in Helsinki: “I just have no words. As press in this room, we are all sitting in here speechless and stunned. Trump cast doubt over the U.S. intelligence community and endorsed Putin’s denial. Trump was given an opportunity to denounce the meddling and he didn’t; he just pivoted to lines about the missing server and Hillary’s emails. While Putin spoke forcefully, lying, Trump nodded along. There’s no way of sugar coating or spinning this.”
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“Before the conference, Trump sent a tweet that blasted the U.S. as the cause of escalating tensions.”
Oh, it’s pretty obvious that tweet doesn’t blame the US, but instead the people who were *running* the US for the last eight years, from Mister “I’ll be more flexible” to Hillary “Reset” Clinton and Jim “Collusion” Comey.
Oh, and I am *so* worried about Trump not taking pen and paper into the meeting. On my top 100 list, that one is about 107.
Came here to say this. He’s obviously blasting John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and obama.
Pen and paper????? “Pen and paper, I don’t need no pen and paper cause I’m WIRED for sound” – Donald tRump
That was very funny.
— If you’re nine years old.
Yes, let me make a record of the event that my enemies will get ahold of and then use against me. Trump should give the deep state nothing, and then take away what they have.
“Give them nothing, but take from them EVERYTHING!” – Leonidas, The 300
I think Putin and Trump will get along fine. They are both highly intelligent, Alpha males who are surrounded by low IQ, low info people all day. They will probably relish the challenge of competing against a like minded individual. Russia can be our ally on certain things (islamic invasion) but we won’t agree on alot things either. Good to see them getting together. The deep state certainly did not want this to happen!!!
The difference is that Putin kills anyone nipping at his heels.
Trump merely humiliates them.
Trump’s opponents have built this up into an amazing frenzy. They simply do not have the discipline to manage expectations. All he has to do is come out with his shirt on and it will be seen as a win. The bar has been set far lower than I would!
Malignant narcissists destroy everything around them, in their pathetic quest to somehow feel better about themselves and alleviate their self-loathing.
The left in this country (hollywood, the ‘news’ media, the left’s elected officials) is rife with malignant narcissists. Then there are their organ grinder monkeys: obama, klinton, and that new idiot, cortez.)
“Russia tried to mess with our election or at least cause chaos.”
Really? That’s what you hold against them? Can you show any damages?
How does Russia benefit from American chaos?
The only chaos is the Mueller Probe, anyway. The Democrats gave the Russians just what they wanted.
I’m always disapointed that Putin doesn’t troll the press very well, it’s so easy. With respect to the indictments on Friday, imagine the scene if Putin were to say “We know these indictments are false, because we did have an agent sending us information, but his name was Seth Rich and he was killed when your FBI found out what he was up to.”
“How does Russia benefit from American chaos?”
Russia is a lot weaker than the US militarily and economically. If he can cause chaos and mayhem then we weaken ourselves.
In Poker you have to know how to play a weak hand. That’s what Putin is doing. By saying of course he preferred Trump to Clinton he knows the left in this country will lose their s**t. But he also said Clinton, likely through their family foundation, got an illegal four hundred K. Hoping the right will also lose their s**t.
Mark my words, Putin would like nothing more than for the Dems to be so stupid as to try to impeach Trump. That would likely spark a civil war, and Putin stands ready to keep pouring gasoline on that fire because then Russia (that is, Putin) has a free hand in the world.
Now do you understand how Putin benefits from causing chaos, GTL?
The Russians wanted klinton.
She was already bought and paid for. And easy to blackmail.
That is totally wrong! Russia wanted Trump. For you see Russia deeply cares about our country and they knew Klinton would be bad for us. Russia has our best interests at heart and they want to do all they can to Make America Great Again.
Pen and Paper? We don’t need no stinking pen and paper.
Related “Today I want to talk about why the recent indictment of 12 GRU members is the purest baloney…”
No- don’t unfreeze the assets of those “diplomats”- they conspired in state sponsored murder.
It would be nice if someone was doing something about the election meddling by US intelligence agencies under the Obama administration. That has far more serious implications.
Toad-O – Remember the DHS attempting to hack States election systems and lying about it.
PS. We still don’t know how many systems they accessed (Or what they did if they accessed a system), only that one Republican state governor complained about it.
This will get the Jimmies (Carters) rustled!
Did Putin offer to make the 12 available for questioning?
We got along for the sake of Afghanistan and Iraq. Even Ukraine was a democratic state. I wonder what or who the focal point of detente will be this time.
“Our thought bubble from Jonathan Swan in Helsinki: ‘I just have no words. As press in this room, we are all sitting in here speechless and stunned. Trump cast doubt over the U.S. intelligence community and endorsed Putin’s denial. Trump was given an opportunity to denounce the meddling and he didn’t; he just pivoted to lines about the missing server and Hillary’s emails. While Putin spoke forcefully, lying, Trump nodded along. There’s no way of sugar coating or spinning this.'”
Nothing short of Trump slapping the cuffs on Putin on stage would have made these clowns happy. No, I take that back. NOTHING would make these clowns happy.
There’s a reason they had a closed door meeting, as in the press wasn’t invited. They need to find someone smarter than them to explain things them. They can find hundreds if not thousands of people smarter than they are at any random elementary school.
It was crystal clear Trump was talking about the last administration, and also the way the FBI (and others) have been undermining this nation, weakening it from within, all because of Trump Derangement Syndrome on steroids.
Why would he praise those who have been emailing, messaging, tweeting, and publicly declaring that he is a: racist, misogynist, sexist, Nazi, dictator, evil, stupid, ignorant, ridiculous, crazy, disturbed, insane, hate-filled murder…..need I go on?! And that is from those in the Executive Branch alone! Not to mention the Congress and various Justices (e.g. Ginsburg).
And don’t get me started on the “press” who, IMHO, are destroying this country. They are dividing people by purposely “reporting” demonstrably false, biased information that does nothing but attack Trump.
No. I am no Trump lover – by a long shot! – but it is clear Trump was talking about the previous admin. who were grossly negligent and those to this day that continue to attempt to take him down, by any means necessary – which is a soft coup in progress……again IMO.
Is it wrong to wish they had staged a “hot mic” moment where Trump thanks Vlad “getting out the vote” ?
Liberal heads would explode.
Just imagine if Trump would have been caught saying “I’ll have a whole lot more flexibility after this next election.”
Those Rosenstein indictments? Are you kidding? Did you read the indictment? What evidence is it based on? Analysis of the DNC server? By whom? The indictment seems to be based on what Crowdstrike said about the server, i.e., third hand!
No one in the US govt has ever asked to see or has seen the server. This is ok with you?
Crowdstrike? Have you read any of the very substantive criticisms of this outfit and the scalawag who runs it?
Our intelligence community? Who dat? Clapper? Brennan? Name one piece of evidence that supports the claim of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, beyond the Facebook & Twitter nonsense, which amounted to nothing, and beyond the absurd and idiotic claims of Democrats.
NB: as a matter of course, all of us should be very suspicious when liberal/progressive Democrats wrap themselves in the flag. Even Richard Rorty admitted that the left has long since lost the right to be patriotic, and he was one of them. It isn’t in their genome.
Purge all the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing Never Trumpers with their Soros-fed talking points.
Like it or not, Russia is a major world military power and the second largest nuclear power. Unless the US really WANTS to get involved in WWIV, then it is probably a good idea to play nice with Putin, at least in public.
As to the bewilderment of the pres at Trump’s seeming to cast doubt over the USIC’s reliability, DDUUUHHH. They have been proven unreliable since before the 2016 elections. If I was the President I certainly would not go out on a limb and make any accusations based upon anything that the IC claimed to be true. The press was looking for vindication of their ‘Russia Hacked the Election” meme and Trump was not going there. Don’t let his face fool you, he is not as dumb as he looks. His words and actions with China should give people an idea how he will work.
It’s become blatantly apparent that our IC has become a Rogue Agency for awhile now. I cringe when the Dems and Never-Trumpers demand ‘independence’ for DoJ/FBI. No. There are no ‘independent agencies’ in the IC and they need oversight. It is unconstitutional for them to keep blocking congressional document requests.
I don’t think you understand how the U.S. IC works. And I don’t blame you for this. It works to the political hacks’ advantage to convince you that the 17 member IC is marching in lockstep when they issue an “assessment” that says the Russians meddled in our elections and did so make sure Trump won. It sounds so impressive doesn’t it?
Except there’s absolutely no way most of the components of the USIC outside of NSA, CIA, FBI, and DNI could have possibly had a hand in that assessment. The rest of the components are tasked with intelligence requirements entirely outside the borders of the United States. Technically that includes the CIA but Brennan is a political hack and he made sure his agency didn’t stick to his lane in the road. But I can guarantee you that the integral intel organizations of the five armed services (USA, USAF, USMC, USN, and USCG) have not gone rogue. They’re too f’n busy supporting their respective operational forces. Now you’re down to 12 component organizations (really 11 because the Director, National Intelligence is not a member of the USIC but over the USIC but including the DNI as part of the USIC fluffs up the numbers; that in and of itself is playing politics).
So you have four members of the USIC that have been politicized and weaponized, five that can’t be, so that leaves us to account for the remaining eight. Six of which are small and focused, the Rhode Islands of the USIC, and it wouldn’t be worth the bother of politicizing and weaponizing them. People would start to laugh. The political hacks simply dragoon them into service to plus up the numbers. The bigger the number the more impressive the “consensus” sounds. It might be worth politicizing and weaponizing the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) the Dept. of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) because to the unwashed those organizations might sound impressive.
But the bottom line is I’m only aware of four rogue agencies. And I want them destroyed as much as anyone else.
Close, but in the Russia “hacking/influence” assessment, there were only 2 intel agencies involved, the CIA and the FBI. State got on board later, though there was no indication that they ever developed any independent intelligence of Russian hacking. And, the DNI is not an intelligence agency, but the a coordinator for the intelligence agencies. As you noted most of the military intel agencies would not be directly involved in cybernetic intelligence, with the exception of the USCYBERCOM which is headed by the NSA.
What happened following the 2016 elections, is that the DNI spun a fairy tale of widespread Russia electronic interference in the election, to which the highly politicized directors, and upper echelons, of the FBI and CIA supported.
In a disturbing twist, Trump decided to side with Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial that Russia interfered with our election instead, contrary to the evidence produced by our intelligence community.
It doesn’t disturb me in the slightest. Swamp denizens may be pooping their panties … but that doesn’t disturb me either.
The idiot press still doesn’t get it. Trying to maneuver Trump into endorsing their lies is like herding fish, and they’re nowhere near up to the job.
Meanwhile, that old KGB guy doubtless has some good information which our intelligence agencies will never admit they have, even if they do … like Crooked Hillary’s 30,000 crooked e-mails.
How about Trump propose a trade: some of those Russian intelligence officers for that man who Putin says stole 1.5 billion and gave 400 million to Hillary’s campaign?
Rosenstein sandbagged the president by announcing those indictments just before the meeting. No way that was cleared by the White House.
I question the timing of Rosenstein. The release “just happened” to negatively affect foreign policy and handicap Trump’s maneuver space.
I find it telling that, for and agency super concerned about foreign meddling in our domestic affairs, the FBI seemed eager assume the role of a domestic agency meddling in our foreign affairs. We are supposed to fight in private but provide a unified front in public. Damagaing the reach of our foreign policy doesn’t seem very patriotic. So Rosenstein has confirmed my suspicion he is a corrupt political hack who should be fired.
FWIW, I’m not thrilled with Trump’s performance. The Federalist makes a good point:
“In short, he let Putin save too much face and that may well delay improvement in U.S.-Russia relations.”
I don’t know the inside baseball on this. Maybe, as Obama said, publicly shaming Putin would be counter-productive. Maybe Trump threw the gauntlet down during their private meeting. OTOH, the Marxists and their NeverTrumper Cucks have attacked Trump to such a ridiculous degree that I’m probably immunized from legitimate criticism of Trump. So I’m going to give him the benefit of doubt on this one.