When Donald meets Vladimir: the neophyte and the black belt

US President Donald Trump addresses an event at the White House in Washington last month

US President Donald Trump addresses an event at the White House in Washington last month

Much, of course, depends on the president's mood, which is rarely good during global conferences where he bristles at what he considers the unfair economic and security alliances the United States constructed in the wake of WWII and the Cold War. They include the case of the former Russian spy who, along with his daughter, was poisoned in Britain with nerve gas - a poisoning British authorities say Russia orchestrated.

Huntsman's description of Russia's "malign" activities was far sharper than those expressed by Trump, who has indicated his admiration for Putin and said that he takes Putin at his word in denying election meddling.

Also, any concession Trump might want to make to Putin would likely meet resistance in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017. "I'm glad that the President is talking to Vladimir Putin".

Despite Trump's criticism, Ischinger said the transatlantic alliance is in its best shape in years, given rising military spending and efforts to shore up defenses in the Baltic states and Poland after Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Trump also said while the U.S. dedicates the bulk of the funding to the 69-year-old organization, Europe gets a lot more out of it than America.

The Trump administration's ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said Thursday that no discussions are underway regarding withdrawal of US troops in Germany, which she said remain an integral part of USA and alliance security strategy.

Businesses hit pause on spending amid trade uncertainty: Fed minutes
The Federal Reserve's business contacts echoed the unease and expressed plans to scale down their investments. The Federal Reserve Building stands in Washington April 3, 2012.

This time, a larger delegation of aides are expected for discussions about issues like Syria, nuclear weapons and the election meddling.

There is particular tension between Mr Trump and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany and the European Union, as the likelihood of a trade war increases.

But Hutchinson, and the US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, gave upbeat assessments of the upcoming meetings.

Trump has already met with Putin twice as president, including a meeting on the sidelines of a summit in Germany that stretched for more than two hours. He is trying to establish a working relationship with the Russian leader. The march organizers oppose more military spending. By contrast, no US president ever had met a North Korean leader.

"He is going to understand that playing to ego is a smart thing to do", Burns added.

Woody Johnson, Trump's ambassador to the United Kingdom, said the president is aware of the planned protests but insisted that Trump "appreciates free speech" in both countries.

Her comments come just weeks after Trump charged that America is "the piggy bank that (NATO) likes to take from", and "we like to help out, but it helps them, they're in Europe".

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