Trump mentioned that shortly before he and Mr. Putin started their private session, the trade and reduction of their countries' nuclear arsenals would be on the agenda.
But he did not mention the problem that had tormented him at home, the Russian interference in the 2016 elections. A few days ago, the Ministry of Justice indicted twelve Russian intelligence agents for hacking computers that would have influenced the elections.
He also did not mention the annexation of Crimea by Russia or the accusation of using a nerve agent on British soil.
"We will discuss everything from business to armed forces to nuclear power" and "a little bit about China – our mutual friend, President Xi", said Trump while he and Putin posed for the photos before leaving in camera.
"I think we have many opportunities like two countries that, frankly, have not understood us very well," he said on the background of three American flags and three Russian flags. "I think the world really wants us to go along."
"We are the two great nuclear powers," said Trump. "We have 90% of nuclear energy, and that's not a good thing, it's a bad thing."
He also praised the hospitality of the World Cup, which ended on Sunday.
"I want to congratulate you on the great World Cup, one of the best ever," said Trump. "It was well done, so congratulations."
He and Putin met only with the translators in the room, before meeting the speakers present. Walking from one meeting to another, Trump told reporters: "I think it's a good start, I start very, very good for everyone."
The president's friendly comment arrived as the Americans and Russians delayed several hours for a joint press conference with the two leaders.
It also arrived days after the Justice Department had indicted 12 Russian agents for hacking during the 2016 US election – and British investigators believe a poison attack was carried out on a former Soviet spy and his daughter was serving as current or former intelligence agents for whom they worked, known as GRU.
On Monday, Mr. Trump had not publicly addressed the issue of interference except to blame the United States for his bad relations with Russia.
After scolding NATO allies, Trump says "thank you"
Mr. Trump, who offended US allies during the NATO meeting last week, Tweeted Monday who "received many calls from the leaders of the NATO countries who thanked me" for inviting other nations to spend more on their strength.
He did not call the leaders or their countries.
The president had similar details on his statement Thursday that other member states had promised higher increases in military spending in response to his demands. He did not indicate the countries, he gave amounts in dollars or times.
The official communiqué of the meeting involved the countries with the same spending increases they had approved four years ago, and the president of France and the Italian prime minister both said that Mr Trump had said that no new ones had been taken. commitments.
Mr. Trump upset the alliance – and even seemed to suggest behind closed doors, some diplomats said – the United States could withdraw from it – in a way that analysts said they could be useful to Putin.
But in his tweet, Trump called the summit "truly exceptional" and "inaccurately covered by many media".
And at a Monday breakfast with President Sauli Niinisto from Finland, Trump said his tactics were just the hard love needed to strengthen the Alliance.
"I enjoyed being with you a few days ago," Mr. Trump told Mr. Niinisto. "NATO has never been stronger, I think, it was a bit difficult at first, but it turned out to be love, I really appreciated your support."
It was not clear what support Trump was referring to. Mr. Niinisto participated in the NATO Assembly, but Finland is not a member of NATO, so he would not have been able to help the president request more military spending. – Julie Hirschfeld Davis
Trump is restless and Putin is stony at the start of the meeting
Mr. Trump's body language on this journey alternated between detached and uncomfortable, with brief moments of warmth – and it was then that you met the closest ally of America.
When Mr. Trump sat with Putin before his private meeting, Mr. Trump, who often gestured and joked when he got points, seemed unusually retrained – except for the moment he inexplicably winked in the direction of the Russian president.
However, Mr. Trump appeared nervous as he sat next to his stony Russian colleague who repeatedly congratulated and tried to flatter before meeting him in Helsinki. He did it again in his opening speech.
"First of all, Mr President, I would like to congratulate you on the excellent World Cup," said Trump. "One of the best ever made by me, and also by your team, it does so well."
During the five-minute photo sessions and brief observations, Mr. Trump leaned forward in his chair, tapping his fingers and making an inverted triangle, a gesture he had done in the presence of other high-ranking commanders. His head turned back and forth between the cameras and his translator, but he rarely looked at the Russian president.
Compared to Mr. Trump, who leaned toward the cameras and rolled his eyes back and forth, Mr. Putin appeared in his chair. The eyes of the Russian president rarely left the earth and, when they did, they focused on Mr. Trump. His hands rarely left two fixed positions – one on the knees, the other bent back and the chair.
Mr. Trump, who stated that journalists are an enemy of the people, did not respond to media questions. When a journalist asked a question about Russia who had trouble negotiating the 2016 election, Putin's face seemed to grin. – Katie Rogers
For Putin, a Russian jet, a Russian sedan and a delay
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