Fallout after Trump-Putin meeting

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Brian Ries and Sheena McKenzie, CNN

Updated 9:56 p.m. ET, July 17, 2018
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8:32 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

Why Trump wants to meet alone with Putin

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

A US official is laying out three reasons the White House asked the Russian side for the extended one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin to launch the summit.

The official said the request was made during the initial talks to set up the meeting over the course of the past few months. 

  • Trump requested alone time to better personally assess Putin and develop a leader-to-leader relationship (along the same lines of why he requested to meet Kim Jong Un alone in Singapore). 
  • Trump has previously expressed anger at leaks coming from his meetings with foreign leaders and told aides he doesn’t want sensitive information leaking from his meeting with Putin. 
  • Trump doesn’t want aides, who may take a harder line on Russia, undercutting or interrupting him in his conversation with Putin.
7:20 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

Trump tells Putin what he hopes to talk about: Nuclear weapons and China

President Trump just spoke ahead of his meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • On the 2018 World Cup in Russia: "I would like to congratulate you on a really great World Cup."
  • On what they'll talk about: "We have discussions on everything from trade to military to missiles, to nuclear, to China."
  • On the US-Russia relationship: "I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years. I've been here not too long, but it's getting close to two years, but I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship."
  • On nuclear weapons: "I really think the world wants to see us get along. We are the two great nuclear powers. We have 90% of the nuclear — and that's not a good thing, it's a bad thing."

Trump did not say he would address Russia's meddling in the 2016 US election, which critics have called an act of war.

Putin also offered remarks through a translator, but they were not immediately audible.

7:12 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

Here they are: Trump and Putin meet ahead of one-on-one

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin just met ahead of their one-on-one. They are making statements.

7:04 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

Trump does not plan to stop military exercises in Baltics, official says

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Trump has been huddling with his advisers this morning — for longer than expected, given Putin’s delay — and one thing that is not on the planned agenda for today's meeting is halting military maneuvers in the Baltics. 

A US official tells CNN “at least that’s the plan going in,” referring to the joint US-NATO military exercises.

This, is course, is one of the questions hanging over the summit, given Trump’s abrupt decision last month in Singapore to halt military maneuvers over the Korea peninsula after his meeting with Kim Jong Un.

But the US official also acknowledges that things could always change after the one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin.

Days ago, Trump said he wouldn't rule out stopping the military exercises if Putin requested it.

7:01 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

Trump arrives at presidential palace to meet Putin

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Donald Trump arrived Monday afternoon at the Finnish presidential palace in Helsinki for his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He was greeted at the door to the palace by the Finish president, about 20 minutes after Putin arrived via the same entrance.

The summit was already running about 45 minutes behind schedule on Monday after Putin arrived late at Helsinki's airport.

Trump was held at his hotel while he waited for Putin, who is known for arriving late to important events, to touch down -- drawing comparisons to Trump's late arrivals at recent summits with US allies.

CNN producer Sebastian Shukla counted 20 cars including an ambulance in Putin’s motorcade, and 29 in President Trump’s. Both men drove straight under a tarpaulin marquee and into a small courtyard inside the palace upon arriving.

6:46 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

Russia and Trump already agree on one thing: The US is to blame for bad relations

From Simon Cullen in London

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it agrees with President Trump’s comment that relations between the two countries have never been worse as a result of "U.S. foolishness" and the "witch hunt."

Trump made the comments on Twitter ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Here's the tweet:

6:39 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

Putin has arrived at the presidential palace. Now we wait for Trump.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally arrived at the presidential palace in Helsinki, Finland, more than 30 minutes later than previously scheduled.

President Trump is waiting at his hotel and is expected to arrive about 10 minutes after Putin.

6:32 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

11 times Donald Trump has praised Putin

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

Trump can find a mean word to say about almost anyone: The Pope, a Gold Star family, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and on and on and on.

One person appears to be an exception to that rule: Vladimir Putin.

Time and time again over his nearly 18 months in office, Trump has resisted saying anything bad about Putin. His critics say that's particularly odd given that Russia conducted a broad and deep attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Here are 11 times the US President has praised his Russian counterpart.

6:19 a.m. ET, July 16, 2018

A Finnish newspaper planted these billboards around Helsinki

This billboard from Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, appeared on the Helsinki Music Center.
This billboard from Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, appeared on the Helsinki Music Center.

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat welcomed Presidents Trump ad Putin to Helsinki with hundreds of billboards highlighting the importance of a free press.

The billboards were written in both English and Russian.

The Newspaper's Editor-in-Chief, Kaius Niemi, said in a Tweet Saturday:

"As we welcome the presidents to the summit in Helsinki, we @hsfi want to remind them of the importance of free press. 300 billboards on the routes from the airport to the summit are filled with news headlines regarding presidents’ attitude towards the pressfreedom. #HELSINKI2018"

Across Helsinki, other activist groups also unfurled banners for the summit. Here's one from Greenpeace:

Greenpeace activists hang a banner on the Kallio Church tower in Helsinki.
Greenpeace activists hang a banner on the Kallio Church tower in Helsinki.