HELSINKI – The president of the United States said on Monday that the US relationship with Russia “has never been worse” in reference to the investigation into Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 US election, hours before meeting with his Russian counterpart in Helsinki.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Donald Trump said on his Twitter account, referring to the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible links between Moscow and Trump’s electoral campaign.
Trump made the remarks shortly before his summit with Vladimir Putin, scheduled for 1.20 pm (10.20 GMT) at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, in which both leaders are expected to address issues including conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, nuclear disarmament and Russia’s alleged involvement in the last US election.
In another tweet, Trump today said that his predecessor, Barack Obama, “thought that Corrupted Hillary (Clinton) was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it.”
Trump and Putin will have a private meeting accompanied by interpreters for about one-and-a-half hours.
They will then hold a working lunch together with their ministers and advisers, followed by a joint press conference.
Trump previously said he has “low expectations” for the summit, while the Kremlin has stressed the most important thing is to establish channels of dialogue in order to improve bilateral ties.