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"I think the European Union is a foe," Trump says ahead of Putin meeting in Helsinki

CBS News logo CBS News 7/15/2018

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President Trump is keeping expectations in check in advance of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor. "I go in with low expectations," Mr. Trump said. "I'm not going with high expectations." 

Glor interviewed Mr. Trump one day after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russians for their alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and just before Mr. Trump's much-anticipated meeting with Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland. 

Asked about his goals for the meeting, Mr. Trump said only, "I'll let you know after the meeting," promising "nothing bad" is going to come out of the world leaders' discussion. 

"I think the European Union is a foe," Trump says ahead of Putin meeting in Helsinki

"I think it's a good thing to meet. I do believe in meetings. I believe that having a meeting with Chairman Kim was a good thing. I think having meetings with the president of China was a very good thing. I believe it's really good. So having meetings with Russia, China, North Korea, I believe in it. Nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out."

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. Photos: Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki

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Mr. Trump, who was briefed on the indictment of the 12 Russians before Rosenstein's announcement Friday, said he "hadn't thought" about asking Putin to extradite them to the U.S. -- the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia. Mr. Trump continued to blame the Obama administration for its response to Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election, as he did in tweets on Saturday.

"Well, I might," Mr. Trump said when Glor asked about possibly extraditing the Russians. "I hadn't thought of that. But I certainly, I'll be asking about it. But again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the Obama administration."

a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: unnamed-3.jpg © CBS News unnamed-3.jpg

Mr. Trump also insisted the Republican National Committee had superior cybersecurity systems to the DNC's, and that is why the DNC was hacked. "And I heard that they were trying, or people were trying, to hack into the RNC too," the president continued. "The Republican National Committee. But we had much better defenses. I've been told that by a number of people. We had much better defenses, so they couldn't. I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked. But I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans too. But -- and this may be wrong -- but they had much stronger defenses."

An excerpt of Glor's interview aired on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday at 10:30 a.m. More of the interview will air Monday on "CBS This Morning," between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and on "CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor" Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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