DONALD Trump may be looking to get some face time with Vladimir Putin ahead of election day.
The point of the meeting might be to forge a new nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the United States, the world’s top two nuclear powers.
The two leaders last spoke on the phone on June 23 to discuss arms control, according to the Associated Press.
But the content of the treaty might be secondary to Trump’s goal of netting a foreign policy win in time for November.
“He wants it to show his deal-maker abilities,” one source familiar with the discussions told NBC. “It’s just a big stage.”
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien appeared to try to play down the idea that Trump was in any way eager for a meeting with Putin, as many a Democratic politician has pointed the finger at Trump for being too close with Russia.
“We’re not doing a meeting with Putin in the United States, but at some time we’d love to have Putin come here to sign a terrific arms control deal,” O’Brien said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday.
Also possibly up for discussion is the alleged Russian bounty scheme. Russian intelligence was offering payoffs to Taliban-affiliated fighters as an incentive to kill Americans in Afghanistan, according to some US intelligence reports.
Russia’s foreign ministry dismissed the claim as a display of the “low intellectual abilities of US intelligence propagandists.”
Trump echoed the statements, taking to Twitter to declare the story a “hoax.”
Putin and Trump last met face to face at a 2018 summit in Helsinki–and Trump came away from the meeting saying he believed Putin’s account of the 2016 election over that of US intelligence.