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Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP

On Friday in Hamburg, Donald Trump will become the fourth U.S. president to meet with Vladimir Putin since he assumed power in 2000. The most pressing issues on the table include Russian interference in the U.S. election, Putin's support for the Syrian regime and potential areas of cooperation, including on terrorism.

A look at Putin's first meetings with Trump's predecessors:

Bill Clinton — Moscow, June 2000

The Issues: nuclear arms control, conflicts in the Balkans and North Caucasus

The Tone: "Businesslike", "congenial", "easygoing", per the NYT. The meeting came less than a month after Putin was inaugurated as president. They'd met twice the year before when Putin was prime minister.

The Color: "They dined over cold boiled boar, baked ham and cabbage and goose with berry sauce"

State of the relationship: Clinton: "We are not destined to be adversaries, but it is not guaranteed that we will be allies."

George W. Bush — Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 2001

The Issues: U.S. construction of a missile shield and the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty of 1972. Earlier in his European trip, Bush advocated for the Baltic states to join NATO — which Russia vigorously opposed.

The Tone: Warm — too warm, according to critics. Putin accepted an invitation to visit Washington and Bush accepted an invitation to Russia.

The Color: Bush was taken with the site of the meeting: "I would urge people looking for a good vacation spot to come here."

State of the relationship: Bush: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward...I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Barack Obama — Nova Ogaryovo, Russia, July 2009

The Issues: Nuclear disarmament, U.S. missile defense shield, Russo-Georgian conflict

The Tone: Amicable and cooperative. After saying earlier in his trip that Putin has "one foot in the old ways of doing business," Obama left the meeting "very convinced the prime minister is a man of today and he's got his eyes firmly on the future."

The Color: They met in Putin's home in the country. Per the NYT: "Their breakfast ran two hours, and Mr. Putin spent the first half in a virtually uninterrupted monologue about Russia's view of the world."

State of the relationship: Obama: "I'm aware of not only the extraordinary work that you've done on behalf of the Russian people...as president, but in your current role as prime minister." ... "We think there's an excellent opportunity to put U.S.-Russian relations on a much stronger footing."

Go deeper

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.