Sputnik discussed the Trump-Putin summit with Michael Springman, an attorney, author and former diplomat from Washington DC.
Sputnik: What is your assessment of the significance of the Trump-Putin face-to-face meeting?
Michael Springman: I wouldn't say it was a world-shaking event except, perhaps, in the minds of the leaders of the United States who hate Putin and who hate Donald Trump. I think it was a good beginning, it was a very low key operation, and the two leaders of the two countries that hold 90% of the world's nuclear weapons met for two hours in private without their handlers and ear whispers, just them and the interpreters. And I think they spoke fairly openly about the major problems facing the two countries and ways to cooperate to remove them.
Sputnik: What do you think was accomplished during that meeting?
Michael Springman: I think that to me personally that to make a personal acquaintance and take each other's measure and exchange important comments on the Ukraine, trade, Syria and things like this. I don’t know if there is really a complete exposition of what was said at the meeting, there’s far too much speculation I think on this, but I think it was a good meeting, I think they accomplished a personal meeting, something that should’ve been done a year and a half ago when President Trump took office, but he’s been attacked from before he took office, in fact, right after the election and before he was inaugurated, as a crazy man, as a horrible person who had secret deals with the Russians. I think this is all hot air, it’s fantasy, it’s invented fake news, really propaganda efforts to provide real information, it’s covert manipulation of the press and of politics.
Michael Springman: I don’t believe that the crazy things that people have said will stop Trump from going ahead with another meeting with President Putin or, perhaps, steps towards improving relations such as eliminating some of these crazy sanctions. I do believe that the statements made both by Kimberly Marten, a professor at Barnard College on the BBC, a state-sponsored news program, as well as the crazy statements made by Senator Lindsey Graham about the football that President Putin gave to President Trump, both of them saying that it was a dangerous thing and it might have a hidden chip in it and it shouldn’t be allowed inside the White House. I think that’s only going to reinforce Trump's desire to go ahead and do whatever he can, in whatever way, to improve relations with Russia. I think that Russia is a powerful and important country and it behooves the United States government to cultivate it and to have good relations with Russia rather than bad relations with somebody who controls half of the world’s supply of atomic bombs, and stretches across a number of times zones with a great deal of natural resources and education, and political power.
Sputnik: We have the 12 Russians also indicted for US election interference, we have the arrest of Maria Butina; what's going on right now in the US?
Michael Springman: It’s another attempt to sabotage relations with Russia, it’s a fanciful series of claims, they even tied this woman to the National Rifle Association, which the Washington Post hates and a lot of organizations in America hate. So they're really stretching and doing the very best to create problems where there should be none and in fact where there are none. They never offer any proof, they just say we know, we have evidence, but the intelligence services never come up with it, these are the intelligence services that stove-piped the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and justified the illegal and unconstitutional invasion and destruction of that country. So I think that for once Trump has done the right thing. While I’m no friend of Donald Trump, I believe that what he did was correct and he took it in a low-key manner, unlike his rampage in the European Union and in Britain and talking about NATO, which really shouldn't exist. I think that he will continue, I don't think he will be and I think he is going to be swayed from this, he has commented repeatedly that he thought it was a good thing, that he’s made some progress and I believe that is correct.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.