Bolton: Trump will address election meddling with Putin

National security adviser John Bolton said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE and Russian Vladimir Putin will discuss "a full range of issues," including election meddling, when the two leaders meet this month.

“I expect it will be somewhat unstructured, but it will give them a chance to go over some of these issues free of the pressure of immediate deadlines or crises,” Bolton said on “Fox News Sunday.” 

“In establishing that line of communication the president has very much in mind he wants to understand the Russian position and perhaps more importantly he wants Vladimir Putin to understand our positions,” he added.


Bolton traveled to Russia last week, where he met with Putin and other Russian officials to hammer out details ahead of the meeting between Trump and Putin.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki. It will mark the first formal one-on-one meeting between the two leaders since Trump took office, though the two met during an aside at last year’s G-20 summit. 

Trump said Friday he intends to broach the subject of Russian interference in U.S. elections when he speaks with Putin.

Bolton echoed that on Sunday, adding that he has not changed his view that Russia meddled in the U.S. elections.

Bolton has in the past taken a hard-line stance toward Russia.

“What president Putin said to me, through the translator of course, that he said there was no meddling in the 2016 election by the Russian state,” Bolton said on “Fox News Sunday.” 

“So I think it still raises the question, I think the president will want to have a conversation about this and say we don’t want to see meddling in the 2018 election,” he added. 

Trump has drawn criticism at times for being hesitant to criticize Russia, such as when he said last year he believed Putin when he said he did not interfere in the 2016 election.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election, and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE is investigating the matter.