Out of all the possible topics President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could discuss when they meet Friday, the one that's expected to arise is the leaders' mutual hatred for "fake news," The New York Times reported Wednesday:
The biggest concern, people who have spoken recently with members of his team said, is that Mr. Trump, in trying to forge a rapport, appears to be unwittingly siding with Mr. Putin. Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Putin has expressed disdain for the news media, and he asserted in a recent interview that secretive elements within the United States government were working against the president's agenda. Two people close to Mr. Trump said they expected the men to bond over their disdain for "fake news."
"You don't want to come out of there saying, 'We're friends, and the enemy is the deep state and the media,'" said Michael A. McFaul, a former ambassador to Russia. "If it were somebody else other than Trump, you could imagine a tough conversation about Ukraine and election meddling, but that's probably too optimistic." [The New York Times]
To avoid the dreaded possibility of Trump getting too chummy with Russia amid ongoing U.S. investigations into Russia's election meddling and Trump's potential ties to it, Trump's team has planned accordingly. They have arranged several activities for Trump that will "counter the perception that he is too friendly with Moscow," including a meeting with Central and Eastern European allies, and they have opted for a formal meeting with Putin in the hopes that "structure and predictability" will "leave less room for improvisation."
Read more on Trump's upcoming meetings with Putin and other world leaders at The New York Times.