The New York Times reports: The evening after his two meetings with Mr. Putin — the first lasting 135 minutes and the second an hour — Mr. Trump returned to Washington. On the Air Force One flight back, his top advisers helped draft a statement about a meeting his son Donald Trump Jr. attended last year with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
“We have the worst relationship as a country right now with Russia that we have in decades, and yet we have these two leaders that, for reasons that do not make sense and have not been explained to anyone’s satisfaction, are hellbent on adoring each other,” Mr. Bremmer said. “You can take everything that’s been given to us, and it doesn’t add up.”
On Tuesday, the Kremlin intensified its demands that the Trump administration return two compounds in the United States that the Obama administration seized from Russia last fall in retaliation for the election meddling. After meeting with Thomas A. Shannon Jr., the under secretary of state for political affairs, Sergei A. Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said he had warned the Americans that there must be an “unconditional return” of the property or Moscow would retaliate. [Continue reading…]