BFF-39 Trump says ‘might’ ask Putin to extradite accused Russian hackers

ZCZC

BFF-39

US-RUSSIA-TRUMP-PUTIN

Trump says ‘might’ ask Putin to extradite accused Russian hackers

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Donald Trump has said he may ask
Vladimir Putin during their upcoming summit meeting to extradite to the US 12
Russian intelligence officers accused of attempting to interfere with the
2016 presidential election.

Speaking in an interview with CBS Evening News conducted on Saturday ahead
of his meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki on Monday, the US
president also sought to temper expectations about how much could be
achieved.

Asked whether he would press Putin to send to the US members of the
Russian military intelligence agency accused of hacking Hillary Clinton’s
failed presidential campaign, he said: “Well, I might.

“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.”

Trump added his Republican Party had also been the target of Russian
hacking efforts but had superior cyber security measures in place.

“I think the DNC (Democratic National Committee) should be ashamed of
themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked,” he said. “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.”

CNN reported in January last year that then-FBI Director James Comey told
a Senate panel that “old emails” of the Republican National Committee had
been the target of hacking — but the material was not publicly released —
and there was no sign the current RNC or the Trump campaign had been
successfully hacked.

The two presidents have shared personal bonhomie in the past, but beyond
the alleged hacking of the US election, their countries are deeply divided on
a host of other issues including Syria and Ukraine.

Before coming to Europe, Trump predicted his meeting with Putin could be
the “easiest” stage of a tour that included stops in Brussels and Britain.

But he told CBS that he was going into it with “low expectations.”

“I’m not going with high expectations,” he said.

Trump also defended his decision to hold the meeting after coming under
fire from opposition Democrats in the wake of the indictments.

“I think it’s a good thing to meet,” he said. “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 goodwill comes out.”

An excerpt of the interview will air on Sunday while the rest will be
broadcast on Monday.

BSS/AFP/FI/ 1840 hrs