Donald Trump Says NATO Secretary General Is His 'Biggest Fan'

US Senator Richard Shelby Republican of Alabama, and Senator Jerry Moran Republican of Kansas chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection Product Safety Insurance and Data Security spoke to the Associated Press at the US Embassy in M

European leaders are in a state of anxiety about the two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting, to be followed by Trump's bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Asked about possible concrete outcomes from Trump's meeting with Putin, Huntsman said that "the fact that we're having a summit at this level, at this time in history, is a deliverable in itself", he said, although "I don't exclude that there will be some concrete agreement". Previously, Putin and Trump have had meetings on the margins of other global gatherings.

"The president believes a better relationship with Russia would be good for both America and Russia, but the ball really is in Russia's court and the president will continue to hold Russia accountable for its malign activity", Jon Huntsman, U.S. ambassador to Russia, told reporters on a conference call.

"The ball is really in Russia's court and the president will continue to hold Russian Federation responsible for its malign activity", Mr. Huntsman told reporters.

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In addition, a private meeting has raised eyebrows due to an ongoing investigation from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Huntsman also said Trump is pursuing the meeting in the interests of national security, to reduce tensions and lead to constructive engagement.

Mr. Putin is not expected to budge on key areas of conflict with the West, including the annexation of Crimea, support of separatist movements in eastern Ukraine and backing President Bashar Assad's regime in Syria.

Mr. Huntsman said the president recognizes the challenge of dealing with Russian Federation, and that every president since the end of the Cold War has failed to improve the relationship.

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Trump's decision to hit Germany, France and other top European exporters with steel and aluminium tariffs has done nothing to reverse his low popularity on the continent, and on Thursday he returned to another contentious topic-allied defense spending.

"The president's priority is to protect the American people and American interests, including those of our allies and partners", he said.

"We're entering with our eyes wide open, but peace is always worth the effort", Huntsman said. In the afternoon, he will have a one-on-one meeting with Putin, followed by an expanded bilateral meeting and a working lunch before he departs for Washington.

"I said, you know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you and it means a lot more to you than protecting us cause I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you", Trump said.

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