In a move that is almost certain to infuriate liberals who still think Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump is setting up a full-fledged meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris.
Both leaders had already planned to visit the European city to mark the centennial end of World War 1. The meeting was arranged by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton when he visited Russia and met with President Putin earlier this month.
While neither government has made a formal announcement regarding what topics would be discussed, there is certainly no shortage for the two world leaders to talk about. President Trump has recently announced that the United States will be pulling out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, claiming that Russia has been violating the pact for many years. President Putin, on the other hand, has characterized the move as an unprovoked action. The fact that President Trump has imposed new sanctions on Russia just a couple of months ago has also not gone unnoticed by the Kremlin, which has promised to retaliate against the move.
Other possible topics would likely include Washington’s opposition to Iran’s current regime and Russia’s support for it, as well as the ongoing war in Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry has recently stated that it has found evidence that the United States was behind a sophisticated attack on Russia’s air base near Latakia, Syria back in January 2018. The Pentagon, not surprisingly, is denying that this is the case. At the same time, there is also a very real possibility that the two leaders will simply use their time together to set up another meeting to discuss important issues. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that, during John Bolton’s visit to the Kremlin, both he and President Putin talked about the possibility of President Putin coming to Washington for a state visit sometime during 2019.
Should President Trump and President Putin spend any significant amount of time talking together in Paris, the mainstream news media will likely be filled not just with speculation about what was discussed, but also accusations that Russia helped President Trump win the 2016 election. Once again, numerous talking heads such as former CIA director John Brennan will get on TV and call President Trump a traitor or worse. Others may bring up the Mueller investigation yet again, and express their fervent hopes that Robert Mueller will find some dirt on President Trump so that he can be impeached before the end of his term.
However, the meeting in Paris is not likely to be as controversial as the summit the two leaders held in Helsinki earlier this year. This time around, it is expected that aides from both sides will be in on the meeting. Even more importantly, most American citizens on both sides of the aisle have simply gotten tired of hearing about Russia-gate and all the legal maneuvering that has come with it. Nothing has come of the investigation so far, and at this point it is hard to imagine that Robert Mueller will find a new bombshell to arouse national interest.
While the recent Trump-Putin meeting plan is not getting very much coverage thanks to the fact that the mid-term elections are just around the corner, it will likely gain more mainstream news media attention once the mid-terms are over. This is especially true if President Trump does decide to invite President Putin to Washington next year for more in-depth discussions. However, it is an established fact that an American president is supposed to meet with foreign leaders to discuss important matters that affect their nations, and even other parts of the world.
At present, U.S.-Russia relations are worse than they have been for a long time, and a discussion between the two leaders could help to improve matters — not just for the United States and Russia — but also for other countries around the world. Unfortunately, those who still can’t accept the fact that President Trump won the 2016 election will likely look for ways to showcase this latest meeting in the worst possible light without regard for the facts or any positive results that may emerge from the discussions.
~ Liberty Planet