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    Trump Has 'Genuine Desire' to Improve Ties With Russia - Ex-CIA Officer

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    President Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki on July 16 both sides confirmed. Sputnik has discussed the upcoming Russia-US summit with Philip Giraldi, former CIA case officer and US Army intelligence officer.

    Sputnik: Now this is very interesting news the meeting between Presidents Putin and Trump will come on the back of the NATO summit in Brussels where no doubt the “Russian threat” will be discussed as well, how likely do you think is it that Trump is going to support the alliance policy of deterring Russia?

    Philip Giraldi: Well, I think Trump is in a situation, politically speaking, where he has to give lip service to the theory that Russia is still some kind of threat to both Eastern and Western Europe. I think Trump is, in this case, intelligent enough to realize that these arguments are empty but I believe that if he wants to improve relations with Russia he has to do it at the same time as he’s talking tough because that way he'll get certain constituencies in the political structure of the United States behind him.

    READ MORE: Kremlin Reveals Details Putin-Trump Meeting in Helsinki

    Sputnik: Previously Donald Trump said he wanted to discuss Syria and Ukraine with Vladimir Putin, what in your opinion does he plan to discuss with regard to those two issues?

    Philip Giraldi: I think this discussion will be rather thin. I suspect that they will basically state their somewhat contrary positions to each other and leave it there. I think that the case that the West has been making about Russian aggression is so false that it will be hard to sustain. So as I suspect it will be a very brief discussion.

    Sputnik: My take on it is President Trump is very much focused on trade and returning quality-of-life issues internally to the US. I think sometimes the diplomacy element of his presidency sometimes is a bit of a headache for him he'd rather focus on internal issues. Now, he famously said that during his election campaign he wants to get along with Russia and my view of that is that in trade ways, in trade purposes increasing the relationship, increasing the huge potential that Russia has and vice versa in terms of trade deals. Do you think he will be able to achieve anything like that during his term or do you think the political pressure, the deep state of the American political machine is just too intransigent to change any directions at all?

    Philip Giraldi: I think the fact is that he has a genuine desire to improve relations and of course that very often translates into better trade relationship, because trade is the fuel that makes international accord function and I think that the comment that he dropped about G7 and making a G8 including Russia is symptomatic of that. He’s basically saying that he wants to move ahead in a direction where Russia is a partner and I think that’s a very good thing.

    READ MORE: Putin-Trump May Agree on US Pullout From Syria, Al-Tanf Handover — Analyst

    Sputnik: It’s obviously a very complex situation, the geopolitical relationship between Russia and America. It’s underpinned by so many different issues and strategies that the average person in the street is totally confused and cannot understand, just give us your take on what your hopes are for this particular meeting between the two? Me and my colleague here in the studio, we’ve just read a title from the British newspaper The Times saying: “fears of a peace deal between American and Russia,” it’s outrageous in terms of the elitist powerhouses in their policy of wanting direction in terms of conflict, what’s your take on all of this?

    Philip Giraldi: I agree with you, basically the elite media, what we would call the deep state in every country is committed to conflict and I think that they get irritated or upset when they think conflict is going away, but my feeling is that there may not be much substantively accomplished at this meeting, just as there wasn't with the meeting with North Korea. But the fact is that the two sides are able to come face-to-face and are talking and that will open the door to more things is very significant. I have a good expectations for what will come out of this because I think both men are highly pragmatic and I believe that this could lead to a softening of the rhetoric that's been coming out criticizing Russia.

    Sputnik: What are your thoughts and feelings that the general public in the USA are thinking about this, what about the average man in the street in America? What does he or she want out of this?

    Philip Giraldi: The man on the street basically has been heavily propagandized by the mainstream media on the issue of Russia, so that means that most people have a negative impression about what Russia is doing in the world, but this kind of impression is paper thin. It is something that can be shifted, it is something they could be moved, and I have hopes that if good vibes come out of this encounter between President Putin and President Trump that a lot of this will begin to shift.

    The views and opinions expressed by Philip Giraldi are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Russia, Syria, United States
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