Standing side by side with Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump refused on Monday to blame the Russian leader for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, casting doubt on the findings of his own intelligence agencies and sparking a storm of criticism at home.
European Union President Donald Tusk called on the United States, China and Russian Federation to work together to cool the global trade tensions, warning that they could spiral into violent "conflict and chaos". I will say this.
But the USA leader would not say whether he would demand the extradition of 12 Russian intelligence officers who were indicted last week by United States special prosecutor Robert Mueller, for allegedly hacking Trump rival Hillary Clinton's computer server.
But far from his prediction that the Putin meeting would be the "easiest" part of his swing through Europe, the summit comes freighted with new tensions, after 12 Russian military intelligence agents were indicted for hacking Democrats during the 2016 election.
Dan Coats, Trump's director of national intelligence, promptly made clear he did not share the president's view.
The meeting was condemned in advance by an assortment of members of Congress from both parties after the USA indictment last week of 12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump.
"I respect the leaders of those countries", Trump said.
"I appreciated your support", Trump said. Ryan said Russian Federation "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals".
The summit with Putin is set to happen on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.
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 US relations with the European Union that he called "a foe" in trade terms.
"Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of USA foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" he tweeted.
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the upper house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, wrote in Izvestia that Monday's talks come at a time when "so-called "peace-loving" Europe is afraid of peace talks between USA and Russian Federation".
It is officially the third time they have met in person, but the first time in a one-to-one summit between the U.S. and Russian Federation. Trump responded by calling her the "puppet".
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said he didn't expect talk of Russian meddling to be on Trump's agenda.
But Trump, convinced his unique brand of diplomacy can win over Putin, pressed ahead and looked forward to "having an extraordinary relationship" as the pair sat down to discuss global hotspots. "I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that frankly we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years". "I think that the United States has been foolish".
Russian Federation denies interfering in the US presidential election. "We have lots to discuss. Let's get to it".
The first one he named was the European Union, traditionally a close ally to the U.S. Asked last week whether he intends to recognize Crimea as part of Russian Federation when he meets with Putin, Trump blamed the situation on his predecessor. In response, he has blamed President Obama for allowing Putin to annex Crimea from Ukraine during his administration in 2014.
Gowdy's advice to Trump was to press for the extradition of the Russians accused in the latest indictment and of 13 who were charged in an earlier indictment with using social media to interfere in the US election.
"To maintain our partnership with the U.S. we must readjust it", Heiko Maas told the Funke newspaper group.
United States dollar down on as Trump makes fresh threats vs China
Trump's comments came shortly after CNBC aired an interview with the president in which he bashed the Fed's planned rate hikes . The Fed has raised rates five times since Trump took office in January 2017, and has penciled in two more hikes for this year.