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Trump: Low expectations for Putin talks

16 Temmuz 2018, 21:38
Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to US President Donald Trump during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017 Image copyright Reuters Image caption The leaders will reportedly discuss US-Russia relations and national security issues on Monday

US President Trump has said he has “low expectations” for his meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Finland on Monday.

But he told CBS News that “nothing bad” and “maybe some good” would come out of the encounter.

He also said he would raise the subject of 12 Russians indicted for alleged hacking during the 2016 US election – but “hadn’t thought” about asking for their extradition.

Russia denies the allegations.

There are no extradition arrangements between Russia and the US.

There have been calls in the US for Mr Trump to cancel his meeting with Mr Putin over the indictments, announced on Friday by US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Four intriguing lines in Mueller charges Who’s who in Trump-Russia drama? All you need to know about Mueller inquiry

Mr Trump told CBS News he “believed in meetings” and said his meetings with the North Korean and Chinese leaders had been a “very good thing”.

“I think it’s a good thing to meet. I do believe in meetings. I believe that having a meeting with Chairman Kim was a good thing. I think having meetings with the president of China was a very good thing. I believe it’s really good. So having meetings with Russia, China, North Korea, I believe in it. Nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out,” he said.

“I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, but I can tell you what I’ll be asking for. And we’ll see if something comes of it,” he added.

Mr Trump also repeated his earlier criticism of the Obama administration, which was in power when the alleged hacking of Democratic party officials took place.

“This was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration,” he said.

“The DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defences and they were able to be hacked,” he added.

He said he had been told “by a number of people” that hackers had also targeted the Republican party but “we had much better defences”, although he added that “this may be wrong”.

The US president has taken in a Nato summit and a visit to the UK ahead of his meeting with Mr Putin.

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Media captionPutin laughs at political chaos in US

Russia has said it is looking forward to the talks.

“We consider Trump a negotiating partner,” said Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov. “The state of bilateral relations is very bad. We have to start to set them right.”

Russia’s foreign ministry has said there was no evidence linking any of the dozen officials named in the US indictments to hacking or military intelligence.

What are the allegations?

The 11-count indictment names the Russians defendants, alleging they began cyber-attacks in March 2016 on the email accounts of staff for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

They are accused of using keystroke reading software to spy on the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and hack into the party’s computers.

Who has called for talks to be cancelled?

Top Democrats including party chairman Tom Perez have urged Mr Trump to abandon the talks, saying Mr Putin was “not a friend of the United States”.

On the Republican side, Senator John McCain said the summit “should not move forward” unless the president “is prepared to hold Putin accountable”.

What’s the big picture?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating US intelligence findings that Russians conspired to sway the 2016 election in Mr Trump’s favour.

As of Friday, the inquiry has indicted 32 people – mostly Russian nationals in absentia – as well as three companies and four former Trump advisers.

None of the charges allege Trump advisers colluded with Russia to interfere with the presidential campaign.

18 revelations from Wikileaks emails Why US fears Russia is hacking election

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser, have pleaded guilty to making false statements about their contacts with Russians.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were charged with money laundering relating to their political consultancy work in Ukraine.

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