Donald Trump to press Vladimir Putin on election meddling, Ukraine aggression

Howard TerryJul 08, 2018

Trump has frequently called the Justice Department's investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation in the 2016 elections a "witch hunt", and he repeated Putin's denial that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election last week in a tweet.

"The President has determined that now is the time for direct communication between himself and President Putin and that it is in the interest of the United States. and that's the way he's proceeding", the official said. Such an approach could allow joint training, but end the practice of having over-burdened US taxpayers foot the bill for wealthy Europeans' security. Last month, he abruptly refused to sign a joint statement with the G-7, the world's largest economies, following a meeting in Canada.

From arms control to election meddling, President Donald Trump is expected to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about a medley of the Kremlin's recent activities at their meeting next week.

"There is nothing being said at all about the troop alignment in Germany or anything that would change" the current basing arrangements there, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchinson told reporters in a briefing about next week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.

The EU slapped sanctions on Russian Federation in July and September 2014 in response to an alleged role that Russian Federation had played in conflicts in east Ukraine.

After the alliance was established in 1949, its first secretary general, Lord Hastings Ismay, summed up its objective concisely: "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down". Trump said Washington allocates about 4 percent of USA economic output to defense spending while Germany has set a goal of 1.5 percent.

While the senior administration official said the summit must focus on carrying out a "sober assessment of the root causes" of problems in the US-Russia, the official also called the summit "a deliverable in itself".

Europeans should spend more on defense. All are former Soviet client states: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. "I'm not going to get ahead of any announcement or any action he could potentially take, but as you guys know, he's shown some frustration there on the financial burden that the United States unfairly is forced to bear, and he wants changes", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters this week.

Last week it emerged that Mr Trump was already considering transferring or withdrawing personnel from Germany, where the U.S. now has around 35,000 troops.

Pentagon leaders canceled military exercises there at Trump's direction but they quickly reaffirmed the United State's "ironclad commitment" to defend South Korea.

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