Trump seeking Putin meeting before November election: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE is seeking a meeting with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinTrust and transparency are necessary to make COVID-19 vaccine successful Biden: Countries that interfere in US elections will 'pay a price' Biden swipes at Trump ally Giuliani at debate: He's 'being used as a Russian pawn' MORE ahead of the November election, NBC News reported Sunday.

Trump aims to announce an update in the New START nuclear arms control agreement to get another foreign policy win before the election, unidentified sources familiar with the discussions told the network. 

Administration officials are reportedly examining different times and locations for a potential meeting between the presidents, including around the time of the United Nations General Assembly next month in New York.


The presidents could advance negotiations by agreeing on a plan to move forward on extending New START, which expires next year, three sources told NBC News. 

"He wants it to show his deal-maker abilities," one of the sources said. "It's just a big stage."

The U.S. special envoy for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, is scheduled to meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on Monday for New START negotiations, according to the State Department. The two countries have struggled to reach a deal on early points of the agreement, prompting a defense official to say a meeting with the presidents would help it move forward.

Some of Trump’s advisers reportedly warned against the meeting, pointing to reports Russia may try to interfere in the 2020 election and intelligence that the Kremlin was offering bounties to militants for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan. They also said it could strengthen his opponents’ arguments that he’s too close with Russia, NBC News noted.

But White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump had not asked for a meeting with Putin. 


“We're not doing a meeting with Putin in the United States, but at some time, you know, look, we'd love to have Putin come here hopefully to sign a terrific arms control deal that protects Americans and protects Russians,” he said. 

A White House official told NBC News that Trump is hoping to meet with several world leaders in the weeks ahead of the election. People familiar with the discussion told NBC that the president has sought a meeting with Putin for “some time.” 

The Trump administration hopes to include China in the new nuclear arms agreement, but officials said it’s possible to extend the current deal with Russia in the meantime.