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Trump arrives in Finland for closely watched Putin summit

16 July 2018

Twelve Russian intelligence officers hacked into the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign in the run-up to the 2016 election and released tens of thousands of stolen communications in a brazen effort by a foreign government to meddle in US politics, according to a grand jury indictment announced Friday.

Speaking in an interview with CBS Evening News conducted on Saturday, ahead of his meeting with Mr. Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Mr. Trump also sought to temper expectations about how much could be achieved.

When asked about the possibility of requesting the officials be extradited to the United States, Trump said he "might" bring it up during his meeting with Putin.

All eyes insight into their relationship will be on offer when Trump and Putin hold a joint news conference on July 16 afternoon after their meeting in the Gothic Hall of the Finnish presidential palace.

"Well I think we have a lot of foes".

Allies are nervously waiting to see if Trump sidles up to the canny Russian leader in the same way he has embraced other autocrats such as China's Xi Jinping, and even North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

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"Of course not. Really, honestly, Jonathan, I think the question's silly", he said. The US leader added that he doesn't necessarily view them negatively.

Trump, a 72-year-old former NY real estate developer who praises his own deal-making skills, and Putin, a 65-year-old former KGB spy who cultivates a macho image as a man of action, are due to have some time alone at the summit.

Critics said they were skeptical Trump would press the issue at all, despite the indictments.

Trump congratulated France on winning the World Cup, saying it had "played extraordinary soccer". He now flies to Finland for a meeting with Putin. "I don't believe we've put enough resources as a nation into investigating what happened two years ago and making sure it never happens again".

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. "Russia is foe in certain respects". As for Russian Federation, it's a "foe in certain respects".

Quizzed about whether Trump had demanded that his allies boost their budgets beyond 2 percent, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg - who as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chairman has the unenviable job of speaking for all 29 allies - said: "We have made many decisions".

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"After the indictment of the Russian agents, he should not have met with Putin", she added.

"It isn't a summit", US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman told NBC'S "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd.

The U.S. has no extradition treaty with Moscow and can't compel Russian Federation to hand over citizens.

Trump also named Russian Federation and China as foes of the U.S.

The indictment lays out a sweeping effort starting in March 2016 to break into key Democratic email accounts, such as those belonging to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The grand jury charges shine an even brighter spotlight on Trump's treatment of Putin, who has repeatedly denied that Russian Federation sought to skew the election that Trump, a Republican, unexpectedly won.

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Rosenstein said that while the defendants corresponded with several Americans through the internet, there was "no allegation in the indictment that the Americans knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers".

Trump arrives in Finland for closely watched Putin summit