After some confusion, the White House confirmed on July 4 that President Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin will have an all-out official meeting in Hamburg during the G20 meeting this Friday. This will be the first official meeting between the U.S. and Putin since Barack Obama met with Putin two years ago.
Various sources have speculated on what the topics of the conversation will be. The Hill wants to remind everyone that there is an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
The highly anticipated meeting with [sic] also be the first time Trump comes face to face with the Russian leader since his election. The bilateral encounter comes as a special counsel is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Trump has called the probe a “witch hunt” and has repeatedly denied any improper coordination or contact with Russian officials.
It’s not yet known if Trump will raise the issue of Russia’s meddling during the meeting.
I suppose it would be unfair to note that many government sources have denied there is any actual evidence of collusion.
The Hill also wonders what they might discuss:
Indeed it’s not clear what the two men will discuss when they meet later this week, though the ongoing civil war in Syria is almost certain to come up. Russia backs the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in that conflict, while the U.S. supports rebel groups.
I suppose, on the other hand, they might discuss borscht recipes and who will win the Series.
The Washington Post wonders if Trump is “boxed in”:
Now nearly six months into his presidency, Trump is set to finally meet Putin at a summit this week in Hamburg after a stop here in Warsaw — severely constrained and facing few good options that would leave him politically unscathed.
If Trump attempts to loosen sanctions against Russia for its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine or its interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Congress could defy him by pursuing even stronger penalties. And if he offers platitudes for Putin without addressing Russia’s election meddling, it will renew questions about whether Trump accepts the findings of his own intelligence officials that Russia intended to disrupt the democratic process on his behalf.
So, what do we know at this point. It appears that:
- Trump and Putin will meet.
- The Legacy Media will report that Trump screwed it up, whatever happens.
I know, I’m getting cynical in my old age.