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Trump sets expectations low for Helsinki summit with Putin

President Trump said he believes such meetings are beneficial.

President Donald Trump is keeping expectation low for his high-stakes summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, saying “nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out”.

The president also told CBS News in an interview that he “hadn’t thought” about asking Mr Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in Washington on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 US election.

But after being given the idea by his interviewer, President Trump said: “Certainly I’ll be asking about it.”

The United States has no extradition treaty with Moscow and cannot compel Russia to hand over citizens.

A provision in Russia’s constitution prohibits extraditing its citizens to foreign countries.

He also described the European Union  as a “foe”.

“I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade,” Trump said, adding that “you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe”.

The president taped the interview at his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland on Saturday, the day before he was set to leave for Helsinki for the summit.

President Trump said he was approaching the Putin meeting “with low expectations… I’m not going with high expectations”.

The president declined to discuss his goals for the summit — “I’ll let you know after the meeting,” he said — but said he believes such get-togethers are beneficial in and of themselves.

He cited his historic meeting last month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well as meetings he has had with China’s Xi Jinping.

Assessing the Putin meeting, President Trump said: “Nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out.”

In the interview, President Trump also blamed the Democratic National Committee for “allowing themselves to be hacked” by Russians trying to help him win the 2016 election.

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