Inside the city hosting Trump-Putin summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump are set to meet for a summit in Helsinki, Finland. CNN's Matthew Chance gets an inside look at the city with a history of hosting superpower meetings.

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 6:15 AM
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 6:36 AM

President Donald Trump plans to raise the issue of election meddling in his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he told officials during his UK visit that he already knows Putin will again deny interference in the 2016 election -- and doesn't expect much progress, according to a source familiar with the discussion.

Trump signaled as much at a joint news conference Friday with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I will absolutely bring that up. I don't think you'll have any, 'Gee, I did it. I did it. You got me.' There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think, but you never know what happens, right? But I will absolutely, firmly ask the question," Trump said. "And hopefully, we'll have a very good relationship with Russia."

Instead, the US President is setting his sights on establishing a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and Russia to continue decades of progressive nuclear disarmament between the two countries, the source told CNN. The source said Trump has been fired up about making progress on extending the US and Russia's denuclearization treaty, now known as New Start which is set to expire in 2021.

Trump sees progress on an arms control treaty as the likeliest area of progress for the Trump-Putin summit, the source said.

"The proliferation is a tremendous -- I mean, to me, it's the biggest problem in the world, nuclear weapons. Biggest problem in the world," Trump said on Friday. "So, we could do something to substantially reduce them -- I mean, ideally get rid of them. It's -- maybe that's a dream."

The White House declined a CNN request for comment.

But as Trump and Putin prepare to arrive in Helsinki, the source with knowledge of the discussions said there is still no set, organized agenda for the summit. Privately, Trump has also made clear that he is unsure how the summit will unfold and what the outcome will be, the source said.

The risks of the meeting, the source said, are if Trump offers something for free -- such as reducing US support for Ukraine or offers ambiguity on Crimea. Or if Trump's bonding with Putin emboldens Europeans who want to lift sanctions on Russia -- the new Italian government, Hungary or Austria.

Trump and US officials have made clear they intend to raise a series of issues during the Helsinki summit, from the ongoing civil war in Syria to Russian actions in Ukraine to cyberactivities and North Korea.

Trump believes his discussions with Putin on Syria could yield the crude beginnings of a deal, but any agreement would be very preliminary. Trump, who is eager to withdraw US troops from the country, would like for Russia to get the Iranians to pull out of Syria, according to the source, but many experts within and outside the administration see that as an unrealistic demand the Russians will not be able to deliver on.

On North Korea, Ukraine and cyber issues, the potential outcomes of Trump and Putin's talks seem less clear.

The source with knowledge of Trump's discussions said Putin is still eager to form a joint Russia-US cybersecurity unit, which remains unlikely. The source said it is possible Trump and Putin agree to a working-level dialogue on cybersecurity issues.

On North Korea, the source said Russian officials do not believe Trump's maximum pressure campaign has worked, but agree on the objective of nonproliferation and want to be involved in the denuclearization talks.

The United States, though, would rather continue its bilateral talks with North Korea. However, this source believes it's likely Putin will offer technical assistance, such as expertise in the removal of nuclear material and that Trump may well agree to Russian involvement in some way, which would also be something of a win for Putin.

White House keeps summit preparation under wraps

Ahead of his one-on-one with Putin, officials said Trump has spent the past two days preparing for the summit by meeting with advisers who traveled with him and phoning those who didn't. But aside from that, the White House been incredibly tight-lipped about the extent of the President's preparations.

"The President has had several phone calls with relevant stakeholders and was joined at Turnberry by aides and administration officials for multiple meetings," one White House official told CNN.

Another added, "In preparation for the meeting with Putin, President Trump has spoken with allies, discussed the issues with administration officials, and met with advisors while at NATO, in the U.K, and in Turnberry."

As he boarded Air Force One Sunday, national security adviser John Bolton was asked how the Putin preparations had gone. "Fine, thanks," he said, before turning and climbing the stairs.

Although US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman held a call with reporters 10 days ago, in a departure from previous meetings with world leaders, the White House has not held a dedicated background briefing with reporters to preview the Putin meeting. As of Sunday night, none was scheduled, according to one official.

The White House did put two administration officials on television Sunday -- Bolton and Huntsman. During his interview with Chuck Todd, Huntsman insisted that Monday isn't a summit, but "a meeting" with Putin, noting to Todd that there is "no state dinner, no joint statement, no deliverables that are pre-packaged."

However, Trump later referred to it as a "summit" on Twitter.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117617

Reported Deaths: 3302
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8011179
DeSoto721079
Harrison539884
Jackson469387
Rankin401686
Madison384394
Lee364082
Forrest309478
Jones296184
Washington260399
Lafayette253143
Lauderdale2499135
Lamar229138
Oktibbeha203755
Bolivar202877
Neshoba1861111
Lowndes181262
Panola170640
Leflore169188
Sunflower164049
Warren156056
Monroe153073
Pontotoc149020
Marshall147330
Lincoln142959
Pike140456
Copiah138736
Scott126229
Coahoma125537
Yazoo122734
Grenada122639
Simpson122349
Union119725
Tate119339
Itawamba115926
Leake115842
Pearl River115060
Holmes114960
Adams109344
Prentiss108320
Wayne102722
Alcorn102112
George101419
Covington98529
Marion95443
Tippah93123
Newton86827
Chickasaw86226
Hancock85928
Tallahatchie84626
Winston84621
Tishomingo82241
Attala80526
Clarke76353
Clay70522
Jasper69217
Walthall64127
Calhoun62713
Noxubee60117
Smith59816
Yalobusha55614
Montgomery55423
Claiborne53916
Tunica53617
Lawrence53414
Perry51223
Carroll49712
Stone48614
Greene47918
Humphreys44916
Amite42713
Quitman4216
Jefferson Davis41711
Webster37813
Benton3608
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32715
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27710
Franklin2483
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 160380

Reported Deaths: 2713
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23573377
Mobile16994316
Tuscaloosa10462140
Montgomery10352198
Madison942298
Shelby750465
Baldwin671269
Lee657165
Calhoun464761
Marshall442651
Etowah434151
Morgan422335
Houston419334
DeKalb349228
Elmore324653
St. Clair304042
Limestone293631
Walker283793
Talladega271437
Cullman255725
Lauderdale233842
Jackson219417
Autauga208231
Franklin206432
Colbert206032
Blount197225
Russell19603
Chilton190432
Dallas188127
Coffee180711
Dale178952
Covington175929
Escambia174931
Chambers136847
Clarke136617
Pike134514
Tallapoosa133987
Marion110331
Barbour10429
Marengo102622
Butler101241
Winston94013
Geneva9217
Lawrence86933
Pickens86918
Bibb85015
Randolph83516
Hale77730
Cherokee75614
Clay75312
Washington75112
Henry7236
Lowndes71628
Monroe65510
Bullock65017
Crenshaw60930
Perry5956
Fayette58913
Cleburne5739
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56513
Macon53920
Lamar5085
Sumter47421
Choctaw39312
Greene34616
Coosa2093
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Columbus
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather