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Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Photo: Brendan Smialowski

President Trump is calling his 2+ hour one-on-one Helsinki meeting with Vladimir Putin “a very, very good start for everybody.”

"I think we have great opportunities together ... and frankly we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years ... I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship ... Getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing."
— Trump's remarks to reporters as meeting began

Trump opened his remarks by congratulating Putin on "a really great World Cup, one of the best ever."

  • "We have a lot of good things to talk about and things to talk about. ... I think the world wants to see us get along, we are the two great nuclear powers."
  • "We have 90 percent of the nuclear — that’s not a good thing, that’s a bad thing. And I think we hopefully can do something about that."
  • "And with that the world awaits, and I look forward to our personal discussion."

Putin said to Trump: “Of course, the time has come that we speak extensively about our bilateral relations and various problem points around the world. There are enough of them that we ought to pay attention to them.”

The Russians said that the one-on-one meeting between the two leaders lasted a little over two hours, but White House spokesman Hogan Gidley did not confirm, the pool reports. A news conference is expected later today after an expanded meeting with more officials from each country.

Presidents Trump and Putin at a dining table in the Hall of Mirrors, flanked by officials, after their one-on-one meeting. Photo: White House Press Pool

Go deeper

Biden administration unveils 3-pronged plan to combat domestic extremism

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced at a briefing on Friday that the Biden administration will roll out a three-pronged, interagency plan to assess and combat the threat posed by domestic violence extremism.

Why it matters: The federal government's approach to domestic extremism has come under scrutiny in the wake of the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. In his inaugural address, Biden repudiated political extremism, white supremacy and domestic terrorism, vowing to defeat them.

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.