In Opening Remarks, Trump Makes No Mention of Election Interference

“I really think the world wants to see us get along.”

Metzel Mikhail/ZUMA

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In opening remarks ahead of his one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, President Donald Trump named trade, nuclear weapons, and China among the topics that would be included in the meeting’s agenda.

Noticeably absent from the list was Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election or the extradition of the 12 Russian intelligence operatives indicted on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller for hacking Democratic targets, including the Democratic National Committee and members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“I really think the world wants to see us get along,” the president told reporters in Helsinki as Putin looked on. “We are the two great nuclear powers.”

The striking absence of election interference in his opening remarks came hours after Trump blamed the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference for worsening relations with the Kremlin—an assertion Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs later backed in an extraordinary tweet. (Over the weekend, Trump reacted to the indictments against Russian intelligence officials by blasting the Obama administration.)

The congenial tone for Russia is an unmistakable shift from the combative attitude Trump demonstrated for European allies at the NATO summit in Brussels last week. Ahead of Monday’s summit, Trump also branded the European Union as a “foe” of the United States.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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