Chuck Todd to Sen. Roy Blunt: Do You Worry Trump Could "Hand Crimea To The Russians" At Putin Meeting?

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As the U.S. summit with Russia draws closer, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) joined 'Meet the Press' host Chuck Todd to warn President Donald Trump to remember Russian President Vladimir Putin is not his friend.

"I think it’s fine to talk to the Russians, but the president should clearly understand that neither the Russians nor dictators like Kim Jong Un are going to be charmed by anybody," Blunt told Chuck Todd on Sunday. "They are very cold-blooded, calculating. Putin would be in that category."

"Are you nervous considering how the Kim Jong-un meeting went where the president gave a lot more than what was expected including getting rid of the military exercises? Are you concerned, for instance, he's going to hand Crimea to the Russians?" the 'Meet the Press' host asked Sen. Blunt.





"Well, I would hope not," he said. "I would hope not."

"I think the Russian discussion about Crimea, about Ukraine generally depends, particularly the eastern part of Ukraine where clearly the Russians continue to have military forces there, what's happening in Syria and Iran."

TODD: All right. The president has another tricky summit coming up with another authoritarian figure -- this one by the name of Vladimir Putin. Are you nervous considering how the Kim Jong-un meeting went where the president gave a lot more than what was expected including getting rid of the military exercises? Are you concerned, for instance, he's going to hand Crimea to the Russians?

BLUNT: Well, I would hope not. I would hope not. I think the Russian discussion about Crimea, about Ukraine generally, particularly the eastern part of Ukraine where clearly the Russians continue to have military forces there, what's happening in Syria and Iran. I think it's fine to talk to the Russians.

But the president should clearly understand that neither the Russians nor dictators like Kim Jong-un are going to be charmed by anybody. They are very cold blooded, calculating. Putin would be in that category.

TODD: I was just going to say both Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin seem to have an idea of what they want out of these summits. Does President Trump know what he wants?

BLUNT: Well, I think he's surrounded himself with a pretty good team. I think--

TODD: Does he listen to them?

BLUNT: I hope so. Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis, all should -- and General Kelly all are giving him the right kind of advice. I think he's comfortable with the team he's put around himself for the first time in his presidency. And hopefully that will show up in these talks.

TODD: I want to ask you about seven of your Republican colleagues went over to Russia. Six of them -- most of them were from the Appropriations Committee. No Democrat was with them. Why?

BLUNT: Well, I think there's merit to talking. Senator Shelby led that --

TODD: This looks like Russia's attempt though to get rid of sanctions.

BLUNT: Well, hopefully, it doesn't work in that way. And I don't think it'll work in that way. I think there's nothing wrong with talking to the Russians. There's nothing wrong with the president talking to Putin. There's nothing wrong with my colleagues talking to the Russians.

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