13 things Trump has actually said about Vladimir Putin

Getty Images / MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / Contributor

Donald Trump has left the UK with a storm of controversy, criticism and chaos in his wake.

Next stop, a summit with Vladmir Putin in Helsinki - bizarrely, a meeting that may prove less turbulent for the US president.

The president's meeting with Putin comes just days after Robert Mueller charged a dozen Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential election.

The summit is going forward despite Congress, politicians and reportedly own Trump's advisors begging him to cancel.

Undeterred by her comedy-of-errors-eqsue meeting with Trump, Theresa May has urged Trump to push Putin on the Salisbury nerve agent attack. But she might not have much luck.

Trump is trigger-happy when it comes to firing off insults at pretty much anyone and not far off everyone - including the electoral process, Meryl Streep and the US Justice Department.

Likewise, his UK visit saw him criticise the prime minister's Brexit strategy, blast Sadiq Khan for being weak on terrorism and say Boris Johnson could be a "great prime minister" - all in an interview The Sun he later labelled as "fake news".

But Trump appears to show sudden and uncharacteristic restraint when it comes to criticising the Russian president, as these extraordinary Trump quotes about Putin show.

1. "Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe… he means it." - On speaking with Putin about alleged Russian interference in the US election.

2. "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" - On who is to blame for the deterioration of Russia-US relations.

3. “So I have NATO, I have the U.K. - which is somewhat in turmoil. And I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think? Who would think?” - On meetings with Putin and Theresa May in July 2018.

4. "I'd have a very good relationship with President Putin if we spend time together." - On his upcoming summit with Putin in Helsinki, July 2018.

5. "Hopefully some day, maybe he’ll be a friend. It could happen but I don’t know him very well." - On his upcoming summit with Putin in Helsinki, July 2018.

6. "You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people." - On his upcoming summit with Putin in Helsinki, July 2018, and accusations that 'President putin is KGB'.

7. "Look, it would be much easier for me to be tough on Russia, but then we're not going to make a deal." - On whether Putin was testing him with the Russian spy ship operating near US coast in January 2018.

8. "President Putin and I have been discussing various things and I think it's going very well." - On Trump's first meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in July 2017.

9. "I think we get along very well and I think that’s a good thing, that’s not a bad thing." - On Trump's first meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in July 2017.

10. "There are a lot of killers. Do you think our country is so innocent? Do you think our country is so innocent?" - On whether Putin is a killer.

11. "He is a strong leader, unlike what we have." - On Putin and Barack Obaman during the 2016 election campaign.

12. "The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me." - On the Russia investigation during the 2016 election campaign.

13. "Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow - if so, will he become my new best friend?" - On the Miss Universe pageant held in Moscow in 2013.

More: Three revealing charts on Putin that you really should see

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