The US president told CBS News he had low expectations but added that he thought maybe some good would come of the talks.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov also played down hopes, but said he would regard the summit a success if there was an agreement to merely reopen severed lines of communications across the board.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Mr Trump said he and Mr Putin were competitors but that the two leaders could get along very well.
In another comment that seemed aimed at pre-empting any possible criticism of the summit, Mr Trump tweeted that no matter how well I do at the summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia, over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough – that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!
…over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough – that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition! Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems…
He also complimented Mr Putin for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament – one of the best ever, as well as France for winning the tournament.
In comments made before departing, Mr Trump said the US had a lot of foes. He named Russia as one of them as well as the European Union.
Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe, Mr Trump told CBS News. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything.
It means that they are competitive.
Congratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament — one of the best ever!
Ahead of his meeting with Mr Putin, Mr Trump has been urged to raise the death of a woman who was exposed to novichok in Amesbury and criminal charges being brought against a dozen Russians accused of hacking Democratic Party emails during the 2016 US presidential election.
It comes after Mr Trump’s first official visit to the UK as president, during which he met with the Queen and held talks with Prime Minister Theresa May as protests raged against him in London, Glasgow, Manchester and elsewhere.
As he left the UK, Mr Trump put the EU on a par with Russia and China by describing it as a foe of America.
He said in his interview to CBS News while in Scotland I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade.
You wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.
Indictment of Russian spies hangs over the Helsinki meet
Mr Trump said he respected Europe’s leaders but said they had taken advantage of the US on trade and defence spending.
I respect the leaders of those countries. But, in a trade sense, they’ve really taken advantage of us and many of those countries are in NATO and they weren’t paying their bills, he added.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump claimed NATO spending would increase like never before. However, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, denied his claim that NATO allies agreed to boost spending over 2%.
Mr Trump has also previously said countries in the EU treat us very badly, they treat us very unfairly. The president slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU, which responded with its own measures.
Mr Trump said I can say it better in a different way. They made, last year, $151bn in trade surplus. We had a deficit with the EU.
On top of that, we spend a fortune on NATO to protect them.
His latest comment on the bloc, which has been one of America’s staunchest allies, drew sharp condemnation from the European Council President Donald Tusk.
America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news, Mr Tusk said on Twitter.
The Trumps departed Glasgow Prestwick Airport hours after police charged a man over a stunt in which a paragliding protester flew above the president as he entered Turberry Hotel on Friday night.
A giant baby blimp depicting Mr Trump as a snarling, orange, nappy-wearing infant also made an appearance in Edinburgh, having debuted in London after being granted approval to fly by mayor Sadiq Khan.
Mr Trump made a number of controversial comments during his visit, including his advice to Mrs May for how to negotiate Brexit – Mr Trump told her to sue the EU, according to the PM – and suggestions that her strategy would kill hopes of a US-UK trade deal.
Mr Trump later backtracked on claims Mrs May’s Brexit plan would make a trade deal with the US impossible.
News Source SkyNews