Update: so much for that.
According to Reuters, two top aides to President-elect Donald Trump denied a published report on Saturday that he is planning to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin weeks after taking office. The Sunday Times of London reported that Trump had told British officials that such a summit was being planned, possibly to be staged in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik.
"The story is a fantasy," one Trump aide told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. Another said the report was not true.
* * *
Donald Trump and his advisers have told British officials their administration’s first foreign trip will be a meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the capital of Iceland, the Sunday Times reported, citing an unidentified source, a move that is certain to unleash even more domestic and foreign criticism of Trump's alleged proximity to the Russian leader.
According to The Sunday Times, Trump hopes to conduct the Putin "summit" within weeks of his January 20 inauguration in the Reykjavik, "emulating Ronald Reagan’s Cold War deal-making in Reykjavik with Mikhail Gorbachev."
The meeting with Vladimir Putin, which would be Donald Trump’s first foreign trip, is where Trump will start working on an agreement limiting nuclear arms within a "reset" in US-Russian relations. The Times adds that according to sources close to the Russian Embassy in London, Moscow would agree to a summit between the two heads of state.
The meeting would come just over 30 years since the historic summit on October 11-12, 1986, between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the second in a series of meetings that relaunched the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, and ultimately led to a material de-escalation in the raging, at the time, nuclear arms race between the USA and USSR.
And, just like Ronald Reagan then, Trump wants to discuss nuclear disarmament with Putin, the Times reported, adding that sources said Trump wants to meet Putin outside of Russia and that Reykjavik was a strong contender.
The latest report comes just a day after Trump told the WSJ he is open to lifting the sanctions against Russia “under certain conditions.” In an hour-long interview on Friday, Trump said he wants to keep the sanctions that the Obama administration recently imposed on Russia “at least for a period of time.” However, the President-elect added that he would consider lifting the restrictions, depending on how helpful the Russians are in the fight against terrorism, as well as assisting with other goals that he feels are key to the US.
The meeting has not officially been announced by Trump team officials or Russian officials, and reports say Iceland has not been formally contacted about such an event. But more importantly, the talking points for all of Sunday's news shows and media talking points are currently being updated to reflect this latest olive branch by the Trump administration toward the Kremlin, which will be promptly spun as further "proof" of Putin's diabolical control over his brand news Oval Office puppet.