President Donald Trump said Thursday he wants a second meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to start implementing ideas they discussed at the Helsinki summit.
Image: Trump and Putin
Pushing back against criticism of first meeting, Trump accused the news media of trying to provoke a confrontation with Moscow that could lead to war, although concerns about the summit came have been raised by a broad cross-section of Republicans and Democrats.
Trump tweeted a list of topics discussed at the summit, including terrorism, security for Israel, Mideast peace, Ukraine, North Korea and more, and wrote: “There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems… but they can ALL be solved!”
“I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed,” he added.
Despite bipartisan criticism, Trump pointed blame at the media, tweeting: “The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war. They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin. We are doing MUCH better than any other country!”
“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media,” he tweeted. Numerous lawmakers have criticized Trump for his post-summit statements raising doubts about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, and past and current intelligence community officials also differed with many of his statements.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump ally, acknowledged Thursday that Trump has had a “bad week” on Russia.
“I think it’s imperative that he understand that he’s misjudging Putin,” Graham told reporters. “I don’t think he was prepared as well as he should have been.”
Putin, in his first public comments about the summit, told Russian diplomats Thursday that U.S.-Russian relations are “in some ways worse than during the Cold War,” but that the meeting with Trump allowed them to start on “the path to positive change.”
“We will see how things develop further,” Putin said, evoking unnamed “forces” in the U.S. trying to prevent any improvement in relations and “putting narrow party interests above the national interest.”
Trump had toughened his tone about Russia on Wednesday, saying in a CBS News interview that he told the Russian president to his face during Monday’s summit to stay out of America’s elections “and that’s the way it’s going to be.”