The United States and Russia have confirmed that Monday's summit between their two leaders will go ahead as planned despite tension over allegations that Russian intelligence officers interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
Asked whether he would press Mr Putin to extradite to the United States members of the Russian military intelligence agency accused of hacking Mrs Hillary Clinton's failed presidential campaign, Mr Trump said he had not thought of that but that he might.
"I think it'd be a moot point; I don't think Russian Federation is sending anyone back over here for trial, the same way we wouldn't send anybody over there for trial", the Kentucky senator said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union".
In further comments that angered some USA lawmakers, Trump suggested the United States and Russian Federation were to blame for troubled relations between the two countries.
In a statement, Russia's foreign ministry said there was no basis for the charges and said the objective of the announcement is to "spoil the atmosphere" before Monday's summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. CBS News released excerpts on Sunday, hours before Mr Trump was set to fly to Helsinki, where he will meet with Mr Putin.
On Thursday, Trump described Putin as a "competitor" rather than an "enemy" and said he expected they would get on well when they hold their first summit in Helsinki.
"I think it's a good thing to meet", he said, adding: "Maybe some good will come out" of it.
Mr. Trump said the U.S.is "greatly hampered" by what he called "the Russian witch hunt, the rigged situation". "China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe", said Mr Trump.
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Since leaving the White House, Obama has largely avoided direct involvement in US politics and has refrained from criticizing Trump.
Trump added the European Union has "really taken advantage of us on trade" though this "does not mean that they are bad".
"Would you ask Putin to send them here?"
"Mr. Putin is a trained KGB intelligence veteran who will come to this meeting well-prepared", they wrote.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into allegations of collusion between Russian officials and Trump campaign members dragged into its second year in May.
Trump raised the meddling issue during his first meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg past year.
"The collective blood pressure between the United States and Russian Federation is off-the-charts high so it's a good thing these presidents are getting together", he added.
"We have always said that we need dialogue with Russian Federation. That's a really good thing".