Almost two years after Trump's shocking election, which supposedly only happened because a troll farm of a few dozen pimply Russian teenagers in St. Petersburg brainwashed America's middle class into voting against Hillary Clinton, Trump and his alleged puppetmaster, Vladimir Putin, have yet to hold a formal summit, even as Trump prepares to sit down in ten days with America's sworn enemy, North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, in what is set to be a historic meeting. But that may be about to change because according to the WSJ, the White House is planning for a potential summit between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, "a meeting that would bring to the international stage one of the world’s most enigmatic political relationships."
Citing sources, the WSJ reports that Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and current US ambassador to Russia, has been on the front end of talks to bring the world leaders together, an official said.
“This has been an ongoing project of Ambassador Huntsman, stretching back months, of getting a formal meeting between Putin and Trump,” the official said.
Among the numerous potential topics for discussion, any meeting between the two presidents would bring up Syria, Ukraine and nuclear-arms control, with the stated purpose of the summit would be "to resolve longstanding differences."
While the two presidents have met informally on two previous occasions, once holding discussions on the sidelines of two international meetings in 2017—one at the Group of 20 summit in Germany last July and at a November summit in Vietnam, the summit would be the first official, formal meeting between the two nuclear nations at a time when diplomatic relations between the US and Russia are at rock bottom.
Back in April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Russian news agency in late April that “President Putin is ready for such a meeting" with preparations apparently rather advanced, although the second US military strikes on Syria derailed the planning:
In April, Yuri Ushakov, a former Russian ambassador to the U.S. and now an aide to Mr. Putin, said Mr. Trump had invited Mr. Putin to Washington during a March 20 phone call. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, responding to questions about Mr. Ushakov’s revelation, confirmed the invitation. “The two had discussed a bilateral meeting in the ‘not-too-distant future’ at a number of potential venues, including the White House,” Ms. Sanders said at the time.
Preparations for the summit are taking place at a time when special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether associates of Mr. Trump colluded with Moscow. According to some press outlets, Mueller's final report is expected as soon as next month.
Asked about a summit taking place amid Mr. Mueller’s investigation, another administration official said, “Of course there are discussions of the political perception.”
The Russia summit “will be focused on specifics, not grand bargaining,” the official said. “Those things need to be negotiated.”
However, before any summit takes place, a he meeting is likely to occur between Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, the official said. These talks would focus on de-escalation of the conflict in Syria.
Incidentally, both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, each held summits with Putin within six months of taking office. So far, the "deep state" has managed to withhold Trump from doing the same 16 months into his tenure.