US President Donald Trump set the scene for his summit with Vladimir Putin by blaming the chill in relations with Moscow on the investigations into Russian interference in his election victory.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted, referring to US special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe.
US President Donald Trump landed in Helsinki on Sunday, to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ahead of the formal summit, Trump slammed the media for being critical to his Russian policy and denounced the news media as the “enemy of the people”. He also termed the European Union as a top adversary of the United States.
“Heading to Helsinki, Finland looking forward to meeting with President Putin tomorrow,” Trump said in a tweet as he boarded Air Force One for Helsinki.
“Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!” he said.
“Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Democrats know how to do is resist and obstruct! This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country but at some point, it will heal!” Trump said in a series of tweets.
Trump’s meeting with Putin comes days after a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials on charges of hacking the servers of the Democratic National Committee and that of its 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump arrived with his wife First Lady Melania Trump and a host of other dignitaries, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton and his chief of staff Fred Fleitz, Policy Advisor Stephen Miller, Social Media Director Dan Scavino and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
On Monday host President Sauli Niinisto is scheduled to meet Trump in the morning before Trump and Putin sit down to a bilateral meeting first without aides and then with their teams of support staff, according to media reports.
Trump also congratulated France for winning the Football World Cup for the second time and congratulated Putin for a “truly great” tournament.
“Congratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament – one of the best ever!,” he said.
In his tweet, Trump said that the hacking of the servers took place during the Obama Administration.
“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?” he asked.
(With agency inputs)