Trump to meet with Putin amid Russian Federation investigations

Jun 30, 2017, 00:28
Trump to meet with Putin amid Russian Federation investigations

President Trump is said to be very eager to make his first meeting with Putin in Germany a high-profile one, wanting full media access and diplomatic protocols, but he is said to be facing opposition from administration officials who want him to "keep his distance".

"I do think that it's time for Congress and not the president to lead the response to Russia's cyberattack on the United States", said Nicholas Burns, who worked as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ambassador and undersecretary at the State Department under President George W. Bush.

"A leak on what we've been exactly discussing, by the way, happened again on the American side", Lavrov said.

All 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed Russian Federation was behind last year's hack of Democratic email systems and tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Trump.

Allegations that Russian Federation interfered in the USA presidential election past year and colluded with the Republican's campaign have overshadowed the businessman's unexpected victory and dogged his first five months in office. Mainstream media outlets have blasted Trump for "colluding" with Russian Federation during the 2016 election campaign.

The meeting between the two global heavyweights will be intensely scrutinized due to the ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into the Trump campaign's links with the Russian President, and swirling allegations that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election between Trump and his Democratic rival Hilary Clinton.

McMaster said Trump instructed his national security team to do three things regarding Russian Federation - confronting its "destabilizing behavior", including cyberthreats and political subversion; deterring Moscow from a confrontation that could lead to "a major power war"; and fostering areas of cooperation, including on North Korea and Syria. US intelligence officials have said that Russian operatives stole emails and other documents from leading Democrats and released them publicly to embarrass Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump.

Some advisers recommended that the president instead do either a quick, informal "pull-aside" on the sidelines of the summit, or that the US and Russian delegations hold "strategic stability talks", which typically don't involve the presidents. Then, through a combination of overconfidence, inattention and occasional clumsiness, Washington contributed to a deep spiral in relations with Moscow, they say.

In the last days of his presidency, Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking USA political groups in the 2016 election. Last week, former Homeland Security agency chief Jeh Johnson and other USA officials confirmed Russia's meddling in testimony on Capitol Hill.

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