Trump and Putin are planning their first summit in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16.
“I’ve said it from day one, getting along with Russia and with China, with everybody, is a very good thing,” said Trump.
National security adviser John Bolton finalized plans for the summit when he met with Putin in Moscow this week.
“Both President Trump and President Putin feel that it’s important for these two leaders of these two critically important countries to get together and discuss their mutual problems, and areas of cooperation,” said Bolton.
While Trump says he’s been tougher on Russia than any other American president, he has pushed for Russia to be brought back into the G-7 economic group. Russia was expelled after invading and annexing Crimea.
“They threw Russia out, they should let Russia back in,” said Trump.
This morning, the president again took to Twitter.
“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election!” he said.
Still, Trump administration officials insist Russian meddling will be a topic of conversation at the summit next month.
“I am confident that when President Trump meets with Vladimir Putin, he will make clear that meddling in our elections is completely unacceptable,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Tuesday, congress heard testimony Russia is already trying to interfere in the upcoming midterm elections.
“Do you believe we’re going to see continued attempts at foreign interference in our elections?” asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
“I think we can see the troll farms at work, we all read social media, so I think we can see the evidence,” said David Murray of Financial Integrity Network.
There are multiple investigations into Russia’s 2016 interference, including special counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe which Trump calls a “rigged witch hunt.”
The president will already be in Europe for a previously planned NATO summit in Brussels on July 11 and 12 followed by a visit to Britain on July 13.