Trump insists he will be ‘prepared’ for Putin meeting

Twitter accuses Republican senators of defiling America after spending July 4 in Moscow

Briefing reporters ahead of the trip, Ambassador Jon Huntsman was asked what the president hoped to achieve by meeting yet again with the leader of a country USA intelligence officials have concluded undermined US democracy by meddling in the 2016 election to help Trump win, among a long list of hostile actions.

The Washington Post recently reported that the Pentagon was evaluating the cost of transferring or withdrawing the troops - the biggest contingent outside the United States.

Christian Lindner, head of the pro-business Free Democrats, told Deutschlandfunk in an interview that he did not trust Trump, and his actions on trade and in the security arena were not in the United States' long term interest.

Given the president's reported desire to explore pulling USA troops from Germany, one administration official said "there is nothing being said at all about the troop alignment in Germany or anything that would change the 32,00 troop force we have in Germany". The president has long spoken disdainfully of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other multilateral institutions, including the European Union, and has been especially critical of Germany for not spending a bigger portion of its own budget on defense. One official who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity said "we're entering with our eyes wide open" but "the ball really is in Russia's court" when it comes to changing their behavior.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of the US intelligence community that Russian Federation meddled in the election and has dismissed the investigation into potential collusion with members of his campaign as a "witch hunt" meant to delegitimize he presidency.

"And we are the schmucks who pay for the whole thing", he said, using a slang term for "fools".

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told McClatchy that European leaders are "scared to death" and are "increasingly anxious [Trump] is going to do things not based on what's in the best interest. but based exclusively on his vision of 'America First'". Last month, he abruptly refused to sign a joint statement with the G-7, the world's largest economies, following a meeting in Canada.

Fiery Trump Takes Shots at Warren, 'Me Too' Movement
But while Trump's willingness to blast taboos helped him in 2016, there is no guarantee it will work in the midterms. There are certain topics President Donald Trump , 72, should stay away from an one of those is the #MeToo movement.

The summit will follow a NATO meeting in Brussels where Russian Federation will also top the agenda, said U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison.

After the alliance was established in 1949, its first secretary general, Lord Hastings Ismay, summed up its objective concisely: "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down". Poland, for instance, has put forth a proposal for the U.S.to build permanent military bases.

Still, Trump has repeatedly threatened to punish countries if they don't spend enough on defense, even suggesting the US may not protect them if they don't pay their fair share.

Members of the western military alliance have agreed on a goal of each country devoting 2 percent of GDP to defense within a decade. "You can't solve problems if you're not talking about them".

The White House declined to say if and how Trump might punish the countries.

Last week it emerged that Mr Trump was already considering transferring or withdrawing personnel from Germany, where the U.S. now has around 35,000 troops.

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