On Monday the long-awaited summit between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin finally happened as both leaders sat down to discuss world issues. Trump mentioned the topics that he and Putin would discuss but the Russian meddling in the 2016 election was not one of them.
There was talk that maybe the summit between the two world leaders would be canceled after last week’s indictment from Robert Mueller’s investigation of 12 Russian military intelligence officers who have been accused of hacking Democrats in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency. Trump has repeatedly labeled the investigation a total “witch hunt” even though various people in his campaign have already been indicted and pleaded guilty.
Paul Manafort was arrested on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading US Foreign Agents Registration Act statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. George Papadopoulos, Trump’s former campaign adviser has been charged with lying to the FBI about conversations with people he believed were working on the behalf of Russians while Michael Flynn Trump’s former national security adviser has also been charged with lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador.
Those are just a few of the people in Robert Mueller’s investigation that have been indicted so far, yet none have been indicted in “collusion” so it will be interesting to see if anyone who worked for Trump will be charged with meddling in the 2016 election.
As Trump sat down with Putin at the Presidential Palace in Finland’s capital he said, “We have not been getting along well for the last number of years, but I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship…. I really think the world wants to see us get along.” But will Donald Trump bring up the indictment of the 12 Russian intelligence officers who have been accused of meddling in the election to Putin?
While the summit was going on protesters took to the streets “with abortion-rights activists wearing artificially bulging bellies and Trump masks, anti-fascist protesters bearing signs with expletive-laden insults, and free traders, anti-war Ukrainians, and gay rights supporters making their voices heard.”
Trump’s aides have said that they do not expect much to come out of the meeting with Putin. His national security adviser said, “the U.S. wasn’t looking for any ‘concrete deliverables.'” While Trump continues to undermine the investigation he is also blaming former president Barack Obama, for “failing to stop Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 election in Trump’s favor. According to Trump, Obama was informed by the FBI about the Russian Meddling and he did nothing about it.
The fact is that Obama did take action, he confronted Putin in person and expelled nearly three dozen Russian diplomats the U.S. said were actually intelligence operatives and imposing new sanctions.