Trump Further Antagonizes Allies Ahead of Meeting With Putin

"I don't see any reason why it would be".

A new era of warm relations between the leaders of Russian Federation and the United States appears to have dawned, but not in the way anyone could have anticipated.

For as long as he has been in power, the Russian president has been consumed with an itching nostalgia for the lost status of the Cold War - an era when Moscow and Washington looked at one another as equals, and the world took notice when they spoke. However, that changed as of about four hours ago.

During last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Trump repeatedly criticized members for failing to spend more on defense and openly questioned the alliance's objective.

President Trump, in a stream of vituperative logorrhea reminiscent of Alex Jones or, perhaps more appropriately, some of the most unhinged of his own supporters, rambled through conspiracy theories about the Mueller investigation, allusions to a "Pakistani gentleman" that no one outside of right-wing conspiracy theorists and conspiracy theorist watchers will understand, attacks on Hillary Clinton, and a defense of his electoral college victory.

"As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.' However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we can not exclusively focus on the past - as the world's two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!" he said in a tweet following the meeting. "I really think the world wants to see us get along".

The issue of the sanctions themselves didn't come up at all. The "posture of President Trump on Crimea is well known, and he stands firmly by it".

Mr Putin said he and Mr Trump have agreed to continue detailed discussions on arms control issues.

The idea, by the way, was itself extraordinary.

He tweeted hours before the meeting that relations between the USA and Russian Federation were so poor because of American foolishness and stupidity, thus exonerating Putin for much of his behaviour in the past decade.

"He just said it's not Russia", Trump said of Putin.

There was plenty of praise.

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Alliance Party leader Naomi Long MLA said it seemed "some people are determined to drag us back into violence at whatever cost". Appealing for calm, Kelly described the attacks as " the desperate acts of increasingly desperate and irrelevant groups ".

Then he blamed Obama: "President Obama, he was the president for eight years". Trump said in an interview with CBS News broadcast on Sunday that he may ask the Russian president to extradite the agents to the U.S. And a good competitor he is.

"I think that's an incredible offer". He said he would allow Mueller to observe interviews of the 12 agents if Russian authorities were allowed to interview Americans including Bill Browder, the Hermitage Capital chief executive who lobbied the US government to adopt a law punishing Russian officials accused of human-rights abuses.

The presidents' demeanor and body language was telling. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. "It is unfortunate that President Putin refuses to acknowledge these facts". It shouldn't be treated as an affront.

The summit started late because Putin arrived in Helsinki about a half hour behind schedule in another display of the Russian's leader famous lack of punctuality.

FILE - Rep. John Curtis talks with supporters and friends while waiting for primary election results in Provo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, for Utah's 3rd congressional district.

Pelosi: 'What do the Russians have on Trump?' Putin sat deep in his seat, his body tilted away from everyone else.

Putin, however, also said he wanted to separate Israeli and Syrian forces.

On the question of nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, Mr Putin praised the USA leader over efforts to resolve difficulties with North Korea.

For those hoping the United States president would refrain from making unwarranted concessions to Vladimir Putin, the omens were not good.

That, by the way, is the Russian President's default demeanour. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. By the end, Putin wasn't too happy with the veteran journalist.

The full interview can be seen on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" at 9 p.m. ET.

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