Trump likely to meet with Putin in July: report

Trump likely to meet with Putin in July: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month during Trump’s scheduled trip to Europe, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. 

The plans are not final, sources told Bloomberg. However, the meeting could take place either before the July 11 NATO summit in Belgium or after Trump visits the United Kingdom on July 13.

The White House declined to comment to Bloomberg.

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A potential meeting between Trump and Putin has reportedly been in the works for several weeks. However a potential date and location had not been previously reported.

Despite his claims that no administration has been tougher on Russia than his own, Trump has drawn criticism since taking office for not speaking out more forcefully against Putin, particularly in the wake of the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election in Trump's favor.

Earlier this month, Trump advocated for Russia to be readmitted to the Group of Seven (G-7). Russia was expelled from the group of then-eight global leaders in 2014 after its widely condemned annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

"If he were at that meeting, I could ask him (Putin) to do things that are good for the world, that are good for our country that are good for him,” Trump said, touting the need for Russia's readmission.

The idea did not gain traction with most G-7 members.

Putin and Trump have periodically clashed since Trump took office. Trump lashed out at Putin in the aftermath of a Syrian chemical attack earlier this year.

"You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" the president tweeted in April, referring to Putin's alliance with Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Still, the two have largely maintained a friendly relationship. Earlier this month, Putin said he and Trump speak regularly over the phone.

According to official White House statements, the two leaders have spoken on the phone eight times since Trump's inauguration. Most recently, Trump reportedly ignored the advice of White House officials and congratulated Putin on his reelection in March.