Even if I get Moscow as ‘retribution,’ critics will say it's not good enough – Trump
The US president wrote on Sunday evening that he was on his way to Helsinki, and that he was "looking forward to meeting with President Putin tomorrow." He went on to state that he knows what the response will be from the mainstream media and the left.
Trump's comment does indeed come amid speculation from politicians on both sides of the aisle - and the Atlantic - ahead of the meeting, as well as amid a frantic mainstream media landscape.
Heading to Helsinki, Finland – looking forward to meeting with President Putin tomorrow. Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
...over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough – that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition! Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
...know how to do is resist and obstruct! This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country – but at some point, it will heal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2018
Democrats have been extremely vocal about their opposition to Trump's meeting with Putin. Last week, top members of the party in Congress called on the US president to cancel the meeting.
"President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won't interfere in future elections. Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, in a statement.
Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, chimed in with a similar statement on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, told reporters that he was concerned about the president's "ad-hoc" style of going into meetings and "winging it," also urging him to cancel the summit.
When it became clear that Trump was going to be following through with his plans to meet Putin, eight top Democrats attempted to reach a last-minute compromise.
“If you insist on meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, we write to urge that you include senior members of your team and not meet one-on-one with Mr. Putin, as reportedly planned,” a group of eight senators wrote in a letter to Trump on Saturday.
Top Senate Democrats have sent a letter to Trump urging him not meet alone with Putin.— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) July 14, 2018
"Mr. Putin is a trained KGB intelligence veteran who will come to this meeting well-prepared," the letter says.
Dems also want election interference to be "the top issue" of the meeting. pic.twitter.com/YZDLe7Z21s
Republicans are also upset, with US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaking out on Saturday, saying the summit "should not move forward" unless Trump is willing to "confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world."
Meanwhile, the US media are almost competing in providing their audience with most bizarre conspiracy theories about possible collusion between Trump and Putin an a renewed push to promote the narrative that has become increasingly threadbare over the last couple of years.
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