President Trump is holding a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin today in Helsinki, Finland. This morning, Trump and Putin made a statement at a photo op before their private meeting, in which Trump said he and Putin would discuss China, trade and nuclear weapons.
President Donald Trump: “And I really think the world wants to see us get along. We are the two great nuclear powers. We have 90 percent of the nuclear. And that’s not a good thing, it’s a bad thing. And I think we hopefully can do something about that, because it’s not a positive force, it’s a negative force.”
Speaking this morning, Trump also said he hoped for better relations between the United States and Russia.
President Donald Trump: “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’ve been here not too long, but it’s getting close to two years. But I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship. I hope so. I’ve been saying—and I’m sure you’ve heard—over the years, and as I campaigned, that getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
Today’s summit between Trump and Putin comes only days after the U.S. Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence agency members as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller’s team accuses the 12 Russians of hacking the emails and computer networks of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. There have been a number of protests in Helsinki criticizing Trump and Putin, including 300 billboards lining the route from the airport to the site of the summit that criticize Trump and Putin’s crackdown against the press. One poster at the airport read “Mr President, welcome to the land of free press,” while another read “Trump calls media the enemy of the people.” On Sunday, thousands took to the streets of Helsinki to protest Trump and Putin and to demand human rights, free speech and pro-refugee policies.