Donald Trump to talk to Vladimir Putin about substantially reducing nuclear weapons

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President Donald Trump said not to expect "a Perry Mason" moment when he again confronts Vladimir Putin on Monday over Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, but promised to tackle the issue head-on.

"President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russian Federation takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won't interfere in future elections", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said in a statement.

Trump said his summit with Putin, which is to take place Monday in Helsinki, would be a loose meeting with "no big schedule" but one that could still be productive.

Failing to take as tough a tone with Putin - whose leadership Trump frequently compliments and praises, underscoring his desire for a friendly relationship - could be perilous.

"We want to find out about Syria".

US-Russian relations have suffered from years of disagreement over the Syrian conflict, Russia's annexation of Crimea and its involvement in eastern Ukraine. "I think that's a real possibility", he said.

"When you look at what we've done in terms of Russian Federation, I guarantee whoever it is in Russian Federation, they're saying 'oh gee, we wish that Trump was not the victor in that election?" I will absolutely bring that up.

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"'People are telling me I can't have this meeting, everybody's saying Russian Federation is the problem - well, I don't think Russian Federation is the problem".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders pledged Thursday to stand united against foes like Russian Federation despite a tumultuous summit that saw U.S. President Donald Trump rip into his allies for failing to boost defense spending, casting a dark cloud over the world's biggest security alliance.

Hours before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges, Trump vowed to ask Putin "firmly" about Moscow's involvement in the last presidential election, but he warned that the "stupidity" of domestic politics and the special counsel's ongoing probe into the issue was holding back U.S.

Tom Newton Dunn, who interviewed Trump for the Sun, said the president seemed "sensitive" about the inflatable "Trump baby" being flown over London and its accompanying protests on Friday.

"It is up to President Trump to hold #Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in #Helsinki", McCain tweeted yesterday.

Speaking to the press on Capitol Hill, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner said that the White House should make sure Trump is not left alone with Putin. "So we haven't seen a huge shift yet in terms of our overall economic sanctions policy towards Russian Federation".

The New START treaty negotiated under former President Barack Obama will expire in 2021, and both sides would like to extend and possibly expand the accord.

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Asked when exactly the allies would now reach their 2 per cent of GDP target, Trump said it would over the coming years.

"If the president leaves the Putin meeting without ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy, this meeting will not only be a failure - it will be a grave step backward for the future of the worldwide order and global security".

During Friday's news conference with May, Trump dismissed critics of the meeting, characterizing it as deliberations that led to positive results, including every member vowing to allocate more money for defense.

But in Russian Federation, where the political system is obsessed with hierarchy, status and displays of raw power, Putin has "already got his victory", said Andrey Kortunov, head of RIAC, a foreign policy think-tank close to the Foreign Ministry. The Helsinki summit will be their first official stand-alone meeting.

May's office said it would not comment on The Sun article during a greeting with Trump and May at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to review a military exercise.

Still, some anxious Trump's combative stance toward allies could ultimately weaken the 69-year-old alliance. "They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before", Trump said.

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