>> US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin meeting for their first official summit. They have exchanged words before on the sidelines of other gatherings. But here, on the relatively neutral territory of Helsinki in Finland, is their first bilateral.>> I think we have great opportunities together as two countries, but frankly, we have not been getting along very well for the last number of years.
I've been here not too long, but it's getting close to two years. But I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship, I hope so. I've been saying, and I'm sure you've heard over the years, and as I campaigned, that getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.
>> The meeting was scheduled mainly behind closed doors. Unlike many bilaterals, there was not much of a set agenda. But they were due to meet alone initially with only their interpreters for company, before advisors joined them for a working lunch. Neither side has been talking up the possibility of success in the buildup.
On the eve of the summit, Trump said he had low expectations, the Kremlin said it anticipated a tough meeting. But the concern from some of Trump's western allies and domestic critics is he might lend too sympathetic an ear. Hours before he was due to sit down with Putin, he blamed US foolishness for bad relations between Washington and Moscow.
Tweeting about a, quote, Rigged Witch Hunt, a reference to the investigation into possible links between Russia and his 2016 presidential campaign. Shortly after Trump posted those comments, the verified Twitter account for the Russian Foreign Ministry not only liked Trump's post, but also retweeted it with the response, we agree.
On Friday, the Special Prosecutor indicted 12 Russians for stealing Democratic Party documents.>> Great to be with you.>>
> Critics, and even advisors, urged Trump to use the summit to press Putin over alleged presidential election meddling, and other maligned activities. These two might be meeting behind closed doors, but domestic political pressures could still dictate the outcome.