Trump casts doubt on Russian meddling ahead of Putin summit

Mr Trump and Mr Putin have met twice before on the sidelines of worldwide gatherings.

He did not answer a question about whether he would raise the issue of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Kremlin's election interference and the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

"And the resolve clause urges President Trump to bring this matter up with Putin and to tell him that if he continues to do what he's doing, he will do so at his own peril, and to challenge his denial", Graham said.

His latest comments questioning Russian interference - which also included his routine complaints about the "witch hunt" against him and those associated with it - came ahead of a planned July 16 summit with Putin in Helsinki.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated to senators Wednesday that President Donald Trump is serious in his desire to have Russia rejoin the Group of 7 countries even absent any improvements in Moscow's support for Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Trump has met with Putin twice before, on the sidelines of global summits in Germany and Vietnam previous year. The news has everyone talking about what the two will discuss and what impact the meeting might have on key USA foreign policy issues.

Ryabkov said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies Thursday that Moscow already has made a proposal regarding the specifics of the meeting and is waiting for Washington's answer.

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"At the height of the cold war, American presidents of both parties had productive summits with leaders of the Soviet Union", Sen. The president can go in from a strong position and say, 'Here's what I want from you guys.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday that it's "entirely possible for a U.S. -Russia summit to be constructive, but I'm very concerned that after his recent performance at the G-7 in Canada, President Trump will once again clash with our closest allies at the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, only to then engage in fawning photo ops with President Putin afterwards".

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High-ranking US intelligence officials have concluded that Russian Federation attempted to meddle in the last presidential election, through propaganda on social media and cyberattacks, and believe they will attempt to do so again for the November midterms.

"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".

In a Twitter post on Thursday before the Helsinki meeting was announced, Trump again appeared to cast doubt on Russian involvement. Making Trump look good, said Weber, is "critical to Putin's diplomatic initiative".

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