President Donald Trump named the European Union as a "foe", along with Russian Federation and China.
On the eve of his critical meeting with Vladimir Putin, President Trump denounced the European Union as a foe, picking the bloc out of a global line-up ahead of Russian Federation and China in a further sign of his unease with traditional allies.
Mr Trump also says he "hadn't thought" about asking Mr Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in Washington on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 United States presidential election, but says "certainly I'll be asking about it".
"I don't think you'll have any 'Gee, I did it". But we can predict with certainty that one subject is unlikely to dominate the strangely private tete-a-tete: the whole Russia-hacking-the-2016-election thing. "Well I might, I hadn't thought of that, but I certainly, I'll be asking about it", Trump said.
And while the imagery of Singapore made the idea of a Putin summit that much more tantalizing, Trump was already keen on setting up a one-on-one meeting, even with the risks entailed in meeting an experienced leader who is also a former KGB official.
Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said the release of the charges 'has no impact on Monday's meeting'.
In advance of the meeting, a major concern in the USA is how forcefully Trump will confront Putin in the wake of new information released in Washington, DC this week over alleged Russian cyberattacks during the 2016 presidential vote.
"I respect the leaders of those countries. I think that getting along with Russian Federation is a good thing", Trump told the program.
And the administration's broader policy toward Russian Federation is harsher than the rhetoric employed by Trump, who recently suggested that Moscow be readmitted to what is now the Group of Seven, since Russian Federation was kicked out of the bloc of industrialized countries for annexing Crimea from Ukraine.
He said he "believed in meetings" but was unsure what the outcome of the Helsinki meeting would be.
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He said: "There's a lot of anger at the fact that Germany is paying Russian Federation billions of dollars".
"Well, I might", Trump said when asked during an interview with CBS News about extraditing the indicted intelligence agents.
The president recently told CBS News that he "hadn't thought" about asking Mr Putin to extradite the 12 Russian military intelligence officers indicted this week in Washington on charges relating to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 USA election.
Kira Vorlick, an American woman aged 30 who works in Finland's booming mobile game industry, said she left California a year ago "to get away from" Trump.
He wrote: "America and the European Union are best friends".
But he told CBS that he was going into it with "low expectations".
"If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward", said Republican Sen.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officials, who stand accused of interfering in the 2016 campaign by hacking into servers at the Democratic National Committee and stealing emails, adds another explosive element to Trump's highly anticipated summit with Putin in Helsinki.