Donald Trump said he had “low expectations” of his Monday summit with Vladimir Putin, just days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted by the DOJ for hacking the Democrats ahead of the 2016 election, which in turn prompted Trump to blast “where is the DNC server”, the missing link of evidence that has never been turned over to the FBI.
“I go in with low expectations”, Trump told CBS News in an interview which will be released Sunday. “I’m not going with high expectations. I’ll let you know after the meeting,” he answered when asked about his goals. “I think it’s a good thing to meet. I do believe in meetings. … Nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out.”
WATCH: President Trump tells @CBSEveningNews' @jeffglor that he is going into the Helsinki summit with "low expectations" and that he will consider asking Russia to extradite agents indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. More on @FaceTheNation Sunday. https://t.co/59FYX8FTIg pic.twitter.com/u0rwS8rkxk
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 15, 2018
After the DOJ said that Trump had been briefed on the indictments last week during his European trip, the president said in the interview he hadn’t considered asking Putin to extradite the agents to the U.S.
Speaking to CBS, Trump also said he may ask Vladimir Putin to extradite the 12 Russian intel officials named in the indictment.
“Well, I might,” Trump said after CBS News anchor Jeff Glor asked about it.
“I hadn’t thought of that. But I certainly, I’ll be asking about it. But again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration.”
The indictment, which while revealing explicit details of the Kremlin’s election influence operation, including the names of the intelligence agents alleged to be involved, once again provided neither any tangible evidence not the names of any agents who were involved in the alleged bust – have overshadowed the summit.
Trump on Saturday blamed the Obama administration for the Russian election meddling.
“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” the president tweeted from Scotland. “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?”
Trump continued this line of attack, and on Sunday he told CBS News that the Democratic Party was also to blame for not better securing its computer equipment.
“The DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked. But I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans too. But — and this may be wrong — but they had much stronger defenses.”
Members of Congress in both parties have called on Trump to either confront Putin over Moscow’s interference in the election or cancel the meeting altogether in protest. The president’s critics fear the summit could lead to him relaxing U.S. sanctions against Russia, recognizing Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, or other concessions. Some democrats, such as Sen. Mark Warner even said other Americans need to be in the room.
Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he would be “stunned” if Trump doesn’t call out Putin’s or Russia’s “bad behavior” at Monday’s meeting between the two leaders. But Warner said he fears Putin could take advantage of Trump in a one-on-one sit-down.
Frankly, one of the things I’m most worried about is we need to have other Americans in the room,” Warner told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Vladimir Putin is a trained KGB agent, he may come in with maps of Syria, maps of Ukraine. And frankly, I think he’ll take advantage of this president whom we know doesn’t do much prep work before these meetings.”
“We need other individuals from his administration in the room so we know at least someone will press the Russians on making sure they don’t interfere in future U.S. elections,” he added.
Responding to Democrat demands, Trump told Glor that he hasn’t decided whether to meet alone with Putin to start their summit, as he said he would last week.
The two leaders will hold a news conference to conclude the summit, where they are all but certain to face multiple questions about the indictment from U.S. reporters.
Finally, in a statement that will likely outrage the EU (even more), Trump called the European Union a “foe” of the United States. The president also said Russia is a “foe in certain respects” and China”“is a foe economically.”
BREAKING: President Trump in new @CBSNews interview calls the European Union a “foe” of the United States. The president also said Russia is a “foe in certain respects” and China “is a foe economically.”
Coming up on @FaceTheNation: pic.twitter.com/s4mRpV8ok2
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 15, 2018