President Donald Trump is set to attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, Belgium in a few days, and shortly after that will hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
According to the New York Times, Trump had a phone call with Putin not long ago and said that U.S. officials were dumb for trying to prevent him and the Russian leader from conversing closely with one another after Putin had mentioned it.
Those are stupid people; you shouldn’t listen to them,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Putin, said a person with direct knowledge of the call.
Since Trump has taken office, he has ignored criticism from both parties for his unwillingness to speak out against Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election – but he doesn’t appear to be tight-lipped in calling out people from the United States.
In response to critics who say he isn’t prepared to meet with Putin, Trump says he’s never been readier:
They’re going ‘Will President Trump be prepared, you know, President Putin is KGB and this and that,’” Trump said. “You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I’ve been preparing for this stuff my whole life.”
Last month in Canada at the G7 summit meeting, Trump refused to sign along with the other nations, angrily leaving Canada early in order to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump maintains that Russia should be added to the summit.