Russian President Vladimir Putin annual press conference

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty President Trump’s highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin began on Monday in Helsinki. Both leaders made public remarks with translators before entering a private discussion. Trump repeatedly expressed optimism the talks would yield positive results.

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“I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that, frankly, have not been getting along very well for the last number of years,” Trump said, later adding, “I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship.”

Trump did not bring up Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. America’s intelligence agencies have all concluded Putin’s government interfered to help Trump. On Friday, the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 officers in Putin’s intelligence services and accused them of involvement in the campaign cyberattacks. Putin has denied Russian involvement.  

Putin was about an hour late to the meeting. The pair stood next to each other for photos before sitting in adjacent chairs.