Trump urged to press Putin on Russian election interference

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a press conference after the meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki Finland Monday

US President Donald Trump is in the Finnish capital Helsinki, ahead of his summit with his Russian President Vladimir Putin.

For all the rhetoric about how - and more importantly, why - President Trump praises Putin but criticizes allies, we now have a real situation on our hands: the United States government has formally accused agents of the Russian government of seeking to interfere with our 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has described the US-Russia summit in Helsinki on July 16 as "the event of the summer".

Newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda dismissed the USA investigation into Trump's "mythical work for the Kremlin", and praised Trump for meeting Putin "despite opposition from his own elite and the hysterics of the media".

"It was a comprehensive discussion at the start of an interesting day. I have been here not too long, but it's getting close to two years, but I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship".

'Fake News' European Council President Donald Tusk said in a Twitter message that "America and the EU are best friends".

The crowd repeated a refrain heard at many anti-Trump protests including one that drew tens of thousands to London as the president visited Britain last week: "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.!" -Soviet and U.S. -Russian summits because of its geographic location and perceived neutrality.

Following the one-on-one meeting, Trump and Putin began a larger meeting with other US and Russian officials, and will end the summit with a joint press conference.

This morning, Trump tweeted: "Our relationship with Russian Federation has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of USA foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"

The world's two most powerful men retired for 90-minutes of one-to-one talks.

U.S. President Donald Trump left looks over as he listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin right speak during their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki Finland Monday

The Kremlin has also played down hopes that the odd couple will emerge from their first formal one-on-one summit with a breakthrough.

"Well, I might. I hadn't thought of that, but, certainly, I will be asking about it", Trump said. "There is no clear agenda. They should not expect, however, to be misrepresented and abandoned by the president of the United States".

However, that the summit was taking place at all was a victory for Russian Federation, which has long blamed irrational "Russophobia" for its geopolitical semi-pariah status. His 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton tweeted: "Great World Cup".

But Trump responded in kind, waiting until Putin had arrived at the presidential palace for the summit before leaving his hotel to greet the Russian president.

"You can't solve problems if you're not talking about them", said Jon Huntsman, the US ambassador to Russian Federation, in a briefing before the meeting. The state RIA news agency quoted a Russian source as saying Moscow was "ready to discuss, ready to undertake mutual obligations of non-intervention into internal matters".

Trump has said he would bring up the election issue, but he suggested he sees little point in doing so since Putin was likely to deny involvement in any meddling.

In Brussels last week, Trump berated North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over their defense spending.

Russian commentators and editorialists who consider the European Union hostile, troublesome or irrelevant also welcomed Trump's criticism of longtime European allies as "foes" of the U.S.

Trump quickly added, "If they had it, it would've been out by now".

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