Trump Isn’t Seeking Putin Meeting Before Election, Adviser Says

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President Donald Trump doesn’t plan to meet Vladimir Putin in the U.S. before November’s election, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said, playing down a report that Trump is looking to organize a face-to-face summit with Russia’s president.

“We’re not having a summit with Vladimir Putin before the election,” O’Brien said on NBC’s “Meet the Press’ on Sunday.

“No, we’re not doing any meeting with Putin in the United States,” he said. “But at some time, we’d love to have Putin come here, hopefully to sign a terrific arms-control deal that protects Americans and protects Russians.”

NBC News reported earlier that Trump had told aides he’d like to hold the meeting, and that administration officials had explored possible locations, including New York in September. The goal would be to present progress toward a nuclear arms-control agreement between the U.S. and Russia, according to the report.

While pouring cold water on the pre-election scenario, O’Brien said the U.S. would like to secure such a deal and “have good relations with Russia.”

The Trump administration has floated the idea of a new nuclear arms-control agreement with both Russia and China.

The only U.S.-Russian treaty still in force to limit nuclear arsenals, known as New START, expires next year. Last August, the U.S. withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty after blaming Russia for breaching the pact.

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