Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Sen. Mark Warner: Vladimir Putin will 'take advantage' of Donald Trump

Sen. Mark Warner: Vladimir Putin will 'take advantage' of Donald Trump

The president also told CBS News in an interview that he "hadn't thought" about asking Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in Washington on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 USA election.

The US president departed Glasgow Prestwick Airport just after 4pm on Sunday after four days in the United Kingdom during which he met Theresa May and the Queen and played golf at one of his Scottish resorts, all against the backdrop of mass protests against his visit.

Trump and Putin will meet on Monday in Helsinki for their first stand-alone meeting since Trump took office in January 2017.

"We need other individuals from his administration in the room so we know at least someone will press the Russians on making sure they don't interfere in future USA elections", the Virginia Democrat said.

In the interview with CBS News, Trump said he's entering the meeting in Finland with "low expectations". "But, in a trade sense, they've really taken advantage of us".

The comment on a bloc that has been one of America's staunchest allies drew sharp condemnation from the European Council President Donald Tusk. Alongside Russia and China, Trump mentioned the European Union, which includes several of the oldest, closest allies of the United States, when asked about the country's global foes. "Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news", Mr Tusk said on Twitter.

While Trump took tea with Queen Elizabeth, a USA federal grand jury charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with stealing data from the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Russia's a foe in certain respects.

"They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration", Trump said of the Russians.

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. It doesn't mean anything.

The US president used a stormy G7 summit in Canada to ponder whether it was time to readmit Russian Federation to the club, and move past sanctions imposed over Moscow's seizure of the Crimea region from Ukraine. "We have to assume - and if we have proof that they did it, which it sounds like we [do] - we should now spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president", Paul continued.

In the interview with CBS, Trump said he "might" press Putin to extradite the indicted Russians.

President asserted that he could be "given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia" but then would return to "criticism that it wasn't good enough - that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!"

Adding to the pressure on Trump is a new Justice Department indictment issued Friday accusing 12 Russian military intelligence officials of extensive hacking in 2016 that was specifically aimed at discrediting Clinton.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Protesters in Finland have been urging Mr Trump to focus on human rights ahead of his visit.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned Trump against making any unilateral deals with Russian Federation that come with a cost for the United States' Western allies.

But the summit, and the extent of Trump's emphasis on election meddling, could highlight a divide between him and his own advisers, not to mention other Republicans, about the seriousness of Russia's activities.

Thirteen Russian nationals and three companies were previously indicted for interfering in the election, but this is the first time government officials there were charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe.

Relations between the press and government officials in both the USA and Russian Federation have been problematic throughout the years.

The UK visit also had its ups and downs after Mr Trump told a newspaper the U.S. would probably not give the UK a trade deal under the terms of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans - and then later appeared to backtrack on this position.

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