Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Reporter Forcibly Removed From Trump-Putin Press Conference

Reporter Forcibly Removed From Trump-Putin Press Conference

- President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin opened their long-awaited summit Monday with a wink and slouch, respectively, then talked one on one behind closed doors for two-plus hours before the American leader declared their meeting was off to a "very, very good start for everybody".

Kremlin officials say Putin is expected to once again deny that any Russians meddled in the USA election.

Addressing reporters before the one-on-one meeting, Putin struck a casual pose during Trump's remarks, slouching in his chair with his legs wide and eyes low.

Trump said in an interview with CBS News broadcast on Sunday that he may ask the Russian president to extradite the agents to the U.S.

Putin, speaking at a joint press conference with the United States leader following a private meeting, said this would "restore quiet to the Golan Height, and restore the ceasefire".

"I'm representing our country", Mr. Trump said. "They want to do well and we want to do well". The Russian president disagreed with Trump on the issue and concluded that "the Crimea question is closed for Russia".

On the issue, Putin categorically denied any Russian involvement.

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He later added that he would advise Trump to "check the soccer ball" Putin gave him at the press conference "for listening devices and never allow it in the White House".

But while Mr Putin came over as the seasoned professional, eager to present his country as an equivalent to the U.S. in terms of being a nuclear superpower; an energy provider; and a key actor in the Middle East, Mr Trump seemed more intent on castigating his opponents back home.

Putin echoed the comment saying that the USA could help Russian Federation by assuming leadership on the humanitarian task of helping displaced Syrians return to their homes.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who also has not seen eye-to-eye with the president, said the press conference "was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

In the wake of last week's indictment of 12 Russian military officers, Putin offered to allow the special counsel Robert Mueller's team to visit Russia and witness the accused being questioned - but only if the U.S. made a reciprocal offer concerning individuals charged with crimes on Russian territory.

John Brennan, who led the Central Intelligence Agency during President Obama's second term and has been a frequent critic of Trump, tweeted immediately after the press conference that Trump's action during the summit "rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors, '" referring to the standard used to determine reasons for impeachment of an American president.

Putin praised cooperation between Russian and USA security services, adding that he favoured continued cooperation in "the fight against terror and ensuring cyber security". But make no mistake, he made clear, the U.S. is watching. "The two countries are 90% of the world's nuclear weapons", he said.

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