Trump-Putin Hold Their First Official Press Conference

Update: The press conference has begun, with Putin describing the talks as "business-like."

  • *PUTIN: TALKS WITH TRUMP WERE OPEN, BUSINESS LIKE
  • *LAVROV ON OUTCOME OF U.S. TALKS: BETTER THAN SUPER: IFX
  • *PUTIN SAYS TALKS ON U.S.-RUSSIAN TIES WERE PRODUCTIVE
  • *PUTIN: DIFFICULTY IN TIES W/ U.S. DON'T HAVE OBJECTIVE BASIS
  • *PUTIN: RUSSIA, U.S. FACING DIFFERENT PROBLEMS THAN IN COLD WAR
  • *PUTIN: RUSSIA, U.S. CAN ONLY FACE CHALLENGES ACTING TOGETHER
  • *PUTIN: TALKS TODAY ATTEMPTED TO SET TIES BACK ON HEALTHY PATH
  • *PUTIN: AS TOP NUCLEAR POWERS, WE HAVE SPECIAL ROLE IN SECURITY
  • *PUTIN: WE GAVE U.S. PROPOSALS ON NUCLEAR ANTI-PROLIFERATION
  • *PUTIN: RAISED ISSUE OF U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE SHIELDS WITH TRUMP
  • *PUTIN: OUR SPECIAL SERVICES WORKING VERY SUCCESSFULLY
  • *PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA, U.S. COOPERATED ON WORLD CUP SECURITY
  • *PUTIN: WE ALSO TALKED ON REGIONAL CRISES, DIDN'T ALWAYS AGREE
  • *PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA, U.S. CAN LEAD PEACE PROCESS IN SYRIA
  • *PUTIN: RUSSIA, U.S. LEARNED TO COOPERATE ON GROUND IN SYRIA
  • *PUTIN SAYS EXPRESSED CONCERN ON U.S. IRAN POLICY TO TRUMP
  • *PUTIN SAYS DISCUSSED UKRAINE CRISIS WITH TRUMP
  • *PUTIN SAYS HE ALSO DISCUSSED ECONOMIC COOPERATION WITH TRUMP
  • *PUTIN SAYS TRUMP RAISED MEDDLING
  • *PUTIN SAYS HE REITERATED RUSSIA DOESN'T MEDDLE IN U.S. POLITICS
  • *PUTIN SAYS HE PROPOSED NEW APPROACH TO LONG-TERM BILATERAL TIES
  • *PUTIN SAYS WE'RE HAPPY WITH FIRST FULL-SCALE TALKS WITH TRUMP

Trump spoke after Putin, saying the talks were "deeply productive" and congratulated Putin on hosting the World Cup, which he said was "one of the best ever."

  • *TRUMP SAYS `DEEPLY PRODUCTIVE' TALK WITH PUTIN WENT VERY WELL
  • *TRUMP SAYS DIPLOMACY BETTER THAN CONFLICT BETWEEN U.S., RUSSIA
  • *TRUMP: U.S.-RUSSIA TIES NEVER WORSE, BUT THAT'S CHANGED NOW
  • *TRUMP SAYS HE BROUGHT UP ELECTION MEDDLING IN PUTIN TALKS
  • *TRUMP SAYS PUTIN HAS `INTERESTING IDEA' ON ELECTION MEDDLING
  • *TRUMP PRESSED PUTIN ON IRAN'S ROLE IN MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE
  • *TRUMP: PUTIN IS A COMPETITOR, AND THAT WORD IS A COMPLIMENT
  • *TRUMP: WE'LL BE COMPETING ON LNG AS A SUPPLIER TO EUROPE

The two leaders are now taking questions:

  • *PUTIN: RUSSIA, U.S. CAN WORK TOGETHER ON GLOBAL ENERGY MKTS
  • *TRUMP: BOTH SIDES TO BLAME ON RUSSIA-U.S. TIES DETERIORATING
  • *TRUMP, ALONGSIDE PUTIN, SAYS MUELLER PROBE A `DISASTER'
  • *TRUMP, ALONGSIDE PUTIN, SAYS WAS ZERO COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA
  • *PUTIN: TRUMP SOUGHT BETTER RUSSIA TIES; OF COURSE WE LIKED HIM
  • *PUTIN SAYS DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING AGAINST ALLEGED 12 AGENTS
  • *PUTIN: RUSSIA, U.S. HAVE TREATY ON CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS
  • *PUTIN: MUELLER CAN SEND OFFICIAL REQUEST UNDER BILATERAL TREATY
  • *PUTIN: RUSSIA WOULD LET U.S. INVESTIGATORS GO TO INTERROGATIONS
  • *PUTIN: U.S. WOULD HAVE TO RECIPROCATE, CITES HERMITAGE CAPITAL
  • *PUTIN SAYS HE WANTED TRUMP TO WIN 2016 ELECTION
  • *TRUMP SAYS BOTH SIDES ARE BELIEVABLE ON U.S. INTEL, PUTIN SIDE
  • *PUTIN SAYS HE WORKED IN INTEL, KNOWS HOW DOSSIERS ARE COMPILED
  • *PUTIN: U.S. SHOULD RELY ON COURTS, NOT INTELLIGENCE FINDINGS
  • *PUTIN SAYS SOROS INTERFERING EVERYWHERE
  • *PUTIN: PLEASE SEND US AN OFFICIAL REQUEST ON THE 12 RUSSIANS
  • *PUTIN: TRUMP HAS SAID CRIMEA WAS ANNEXED ILLEGALLY
  • *PUTIN SAYS HE DIDN'T KNOW TRUMP WAS IN MOSCOW AS GUEST
  • *PUTIN SAYS HUNDREDS OF U.S. BUSINESS LEADERS VISIT EVERY YEAR
  • *PUTIN: RIDICULOUS TO THINK U.S. COLLECTS DIRT ON EVERYONE
  • *TRUMP: IF RUSSIANS HAD COMPROMISING INTEL ON ME, IT'D BE OUT

And as a reminder, while Trump didn't collude with Russia, another American president might have.

* * *

Update: After meeting one-on-one for more than two hours before being joined by their advisors for lunch...

Lunch

...President Trump and President Putin are holding a press briefing to answer questions about what was discussed during today's summit meeting.

Watch the press conference, which is expected to begin around 9:30 am ET, on the feed below:

The briefing will be the first chance for the world to learn more about what the two leaders discussed. Expect Trump to be asked about whether he confronted his Russian counterpart about extraditing Russian intelligence officers indicted by the DOJ.

The press conference hasn't started yet, but already somebody has been kicked out of the room by security.

* * *

Update: The one-on-one phase of the Helsinki summit is longer a little longer than expected as Putin and Trump are still locked in private conversation and have yet to be joined by their advisors.

* * *

After a brief delay reportedly caused by President Putin, Trump and his Russian counterpart have gathered for a brief press conference before the start of their 90-minute summit meeting, during which the two men will be left alone to discuss a range of issues.

  • *PUTIN: THE TIME HAS COME FOR SUBSTANTIVE BILATERAL TALKS
  • *PUTIN SAYS HE'S BEEN IN REGULAR CONTACT WITH TRUMP
  • *TRUMP CONGRATULATES PUTIN ON HOSTING WORLD CUP
  • *TRUMP: WILL DISCUSS TRADE, NUCLEAR ISSUES AND CHINA WITH PUTIN
  • *TRUMP SAYS AGAIN THAT GETTING ALONG WITH RUSSIA `A GOOD THING

The two men shared a handshake, as Trump said "I really think the world wants to see us get along."

But just like with Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who knows what they will say?

NBC News is in full panic mode - "This is remarkable. President Trump, President Putin are going to be alone in a room for 90 minutes with only their interpreters."

And The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald reminds his followers that:

"In 1987, when Reagan met with Soviet leadership, the Far Right took out ads attacking him as a "Useful Idiot" for Russian propaganda, and of betraying America by legitimizing Russian aggression and domestic repression."

And already the talking heads on CNBC have proclaimed that "it was a weak opening by Trump."

As we noted earlier, here are five key things to watch for as they start their press conference in approximately 90 minutes.

* * *

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Helsinki late Sunday night for his long-awaited summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Financial Times. And though the two leaders have met before, Monday's summit will mark the first sit down meeting between the two leaders since Trump's inauguration. In an interview that aired yesterday, Trump cautioned that he has "low expectations" going into the summit, because no matter what he accomplishes, the media and Trump's political opponents will treat him like it wasn't enough.

Trump said Friday during his press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May that he expects to discuss Syria, Ukraine and terrorism with Putin. He said later that he would consider asking Putin about the possibility of extraditing the more than two dozen Russians who have now been indicted by the DOJ over allegations of interference in the 2016 election.

Trump

Just hours before meeting with Putin, Trump blamed former President Barack Obama for the so-called Russian interference during the election because Obama knew about the interference but chose to do nothing, and slammed his political opponents for allowing the US's relationship with Russia to deteriorate to a point where it "has never been worse."

Following Friday's latest round of indictments against a dozen Russian military intelligence officials, Democratic lawmakers slammed Trump for refusing to cancel the meeting.

And while Trump berated his political opponents for taking advantage of the indictments and their timing to try and foil the long-anticipated meeting between the two world leaders, National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Sunday that the president had been briefed in advance about the indictments of the Russian intelligence agents. According to Reuters, Trump appeared upbeat during a breakfast meeting with Finland’s president before the meeting with Putin in the Finnish capital, even tweeting his thanks to his hosts for their hospitality.

Shortly before the meeting was set to begin, Putin was filmed getting off his presidential aircraft in Helsinki.

The Kremlin has said it doesn't expect an easy meeting after pushing back against President Trump's criticisms of a planned Russian gas pipeline to Germany, while suggesting it could be difficult to find common ground on Syria thanks to tensions over Iran.