White House Announces Date and Location for Trump-Putin Summit

On July 16, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be meeting in Helsinki, Finland, the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

“The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues,” the White House added.

CNBC reported that the meeting will take place at the end of Trump’s previously scheduled trip to Europe next month, which includes a summit with NATO allies on July 11-12 in Brussels and a stop in the United Kingdom on July 13.

The White House wanted to make the summit a day earlier, but it was agreed on June 16 because Putin plans to attend the World Cup final on July 15 in Moscow.

The White House and the Kremlin confirmed the summit one day after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton had a meeting with Putin and other Russian officials.

Trump on several occasions said that he wants to form a personal friendship with Putin hoping it will help in resolving the longstanding problems, such as election interference and Moscow’s involvement in Syria and Ukraine.

Shortly before the summit was announced, Trump tweeted that Russia continues to deny it interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!” he wrote.

Shortly after the summit was announced Trump published another Tweet, this time attacking special counsel Robert Mueller.

“When is Bob Mueller going to list his Conflicts of Interest,” Trump tweeted. “Why has it taken so long? Will they be listed at the top of his $22,000,000 Report…And what about the 13 Angry Democrats, will they list their conflicts with Crooked H?”

Mueller, a Republican, is considered to be incorruptible from both sides of the aisle.

Meanwhile, Bolton in Moscow said it is “complete nonsense” to think the meeting proves that there is something inconvenient about the Trump-Putin relationship.

“The President determined that despite the political noise in the U.S., direct communication between him and President Putin was in the interest of the United States, in the interest of Russia, and in the interest of peace and security around the world,” he said.

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