Trump in Scotland on next leg of contentious United Kingdom trip

Sunday, 15 Jul, 2018

Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump had pressed Putin on the matter, while the Russian foreign minister said Trump had accepted Putin's denials that Russia interfered in the election. "American diplomats have already begun to say that the United Nations should be shut down because it's not needed.Trump also tries to destroy the WTO and isn't sure about necessity of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

However, he said, "there's no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers". The US Justice Department said Russian officials staged releases of emails from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. "It forces Trump to confront Putin". Instead "maybe he should ask Putin to turn over the 12 people indicted to the United States for trial", Podesta said.

The indictments were unsealed just hours after Trump again referred to Mueller's inquiry as a "witch hunt" and after the president told reporters at a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, "I think I would have a very good relationship with Putin if we spend time together".

Putin also has promoted Russia's development of a nuclear-armed hypersonic vehicle that he said is more advanced than anything in the USA arsenal. But he predicted Putin wouldn't confess. "If we can do something to substantially reduce them [nuclear weapons], I mean, ideally get rid of them, maybe that's a dream, but certainly it's a subject that I'll be bringing up with him", Trump stressed.

He was joined in calls to cancel the summit by Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, a frequent Trump critic, who wrote that if Trump is not prepared to hold Putin responsible for election meddling, "the summit in Helsinki should not move forward".

"We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that's being paid to the country we're supposed to be protecting you against", the president said.

Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said in a statement that "Russia attempted to sow the seeds of discord, undermine the fundamentals of our democracy and challenge the reliability of the 2016 election".

"President Trump has not taken damaging actions against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, but his words are damaging", said Adam Thomson, a former British ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and now director of the European Leadership Network think-tank in London.

Trump, on the third day of his four-day trip to Britain, was on a private visit to his Turnberry luxury golf resort in southwest Scotland ahead of Monday's summit in Helsinki.

After the indictments were announced, Democrats were quick to urge Trump to cancel the meeting.

In an antagonistic opening salvo during a breakfast Wednesday morning with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders, Trump said that Germany was "totally controlled" and "captive to Russia", due to a pipeline project that would supply the European country with Russian gas. "If the president leaves the Putin meeting without ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy, this meeting will not only be a failure - it will be a grave step backward for the future of the worldwide order and global security". "But I will absolutely, firmly ask the question", he added.

"If you can imagine what reduced tension could do in the case of U.S. -Russia and Europe-Russia, it would be on a much bigger scale", the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, told reporters on a call previewing the meeting last week.