Trump and Putin prepare for meeting

President Donald Trump is the fourth US President to sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 4:46 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 4:49 PM

Hillary Clinton took aim at President Donald Trump's much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling into question her former presidential campaign rival's loyalties just hours after he tweeted a congratulations to the hosts of the World Cup.

"Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?" Clinton tweeted Sunday night, ahead of the President's first official summit with Putin, taking place in Helsinki, Finland.

Earlier Sunday, Trump tweeted out congratulations to the tournament's victors, France, as well as Putin and his countrymen for "putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament -- one of the best ever!"

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton expressed similar sentiment about the Trump-Putin relationship.

When Trump said at a debate that Putin had "no respect" for Clinton or then-President Barack Obama, the former secretary of state replied, "Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States." Trump responded by calling her the "puppet."

"You encouraged espionage against our people. You are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list: break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do," Clinton said later in the debate. "You continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favorite in this race."

The Helsinki meeting comes less than a week after the Justice Department announced the indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officials for allegedly engaging in a "sustained effort" to hack Democrats' emails and computer networks during the 2016 election campaign. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible links between Trump campaign associates and Russia as part of his probe into Moscow's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

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