US, Russia: Ukraine Shaping Up to Be Hot Topic for Summit

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Then on Thursday, the White House said Trump "disagrees" with Putin's offer to allow USA questioning of 12 Russians who have been indicted for election interference in exchange for Russian interviews with the former US ambassador to Russia and other Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes.

However, the one-on-one discussions were fairly private with no officials being briefed on what had been said, as Trump insisted only translators could listen in.

When NBC News's Andrea Mitchell informed the director of national intelligence there was news from the White House on Twitter, Coats could not help himself.

"That DNI Coats was surprised, and his fanciful reaction, is what is most alarming to people", the source said.

"Subjecting our diplomats to Putin's thuggery?" Aides forwarded a transcript of the comments to Coats so that he saw them, according to the senior official.

Trump also caused confusion when he appeared to tell reporters Russian Federation was not targeting the 2018 election with further cyberattacks; the White House claimed he was responding to a different question.

Trump also told CBS he had spoken with Coats since the trip. While Trump has somewhat accepted his intelligence community's findings on Russian hacking, the question of it coming a day too late will continue to haunt him.

'Okay.' Coats said, chuckling as he appeared to contemplate the prospects.




"OK. That's gonna be special", he said.

Coats said Saturday his response was "admittedly awkward" and "was in now way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the president". He also defended his meeting with Putin, telling CNBC, "I think we could do great things for the world".

"This issue (of a referendum) was discussed", Antonov said, adding that Putin made "concrete proposals" to Trump on solutions for the four-year, Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine, which has killed more than 10,000 people.

"The sentence should have been: 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation, '" he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina's arrest politically motivated, adding that it could have been aimed at disrupting the Helsinki summit between Putin and Trump. Dan Sullivan said "I wouldn't do it, that's for damn sure".

"I'll be his worst nightmare, but I don't think it'll be that way", Trump told CNBC in an interview broadcast Friday. "That is the president's prerogative".

Had Trump asked him 'how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way, but that's not my role. So it is what it is'.

President Putin said "useful agreements" had been reached during the summit but we don't know what they are. "We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election", he said. However, just over 24 hours later, he changed his statement and accepted that Russian Federation might have meddled with USA polls.

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