"But I go in with low expectations".
Presidents Putin and Trump will meet today at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.
Given the inauspicious atmosphere, it's unlikely that any other President would still be meeting Putin.
Former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, Michael Hayden, told NPR's All Things Considered he wouldn't have gone as far as Brennan's condemnation, but he said Trump's performance "was a surprise".
But on Sunday he undercut his own expectations-building.
Flake, who isn't running for re-election and has been a frequent critic of the president, took to Twitter after Trump and Putin held a joint news conference on Monday during their summit in Helsinki, Finland.
Trump relishes the pageantry of worldwide set pieces in which he bestrides the world. He can use it to build legitimacy for his autocratic rule at home, by showing that he has restored Russian Federation to great power status after the humiliation of the Soviet collapse.
When "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor asked Trump who is his "biggest foe globally right now", Trump named the European Union, members of which are some of America's oldest and closest global allies.
Editor-in-chief Kaius Nieme also explained that the banners are intended as a display of support for "colleagues who have to fight in ever toughening circumstances on a daily basis both in the USA and Russian Federation", noting that both countries sit pretty far down on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
"In a sense, we're competitors ... he's not my enemy". He claimed Obama "was informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn't happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it".
Farnborough Airshow: Aircraft sales to hit $6.3tn on China trade
But he declined to be drawn into commenting on USA trade policy, saying: "We are going to focus on what we can control". Boeing's Tinseth said Airbus sought to show it was winning a sizable share of the aircraft market.
Trump's comments drew heavy criticism from politicians in the United States, including prominent Republicans.
Trump's attitude marks a sharp shift from the attitude of his two predecessors.
But the top Democrat in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, tweeted that many Americans can only wonder if "the only possible explanation for this risky behaviour is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump".
Trump also praised Putin for holding the World Cup, which ended Sunday.
The president declined to discuss his goals for the summit - "I'll let you know after the meeting", he said - but said he believed such get-togethers were beneficial in and of themselves.
There is anxiety in Washington that Putin could convince Trump to hand over areas of Syria to Russia's client Bashar al-Assad, in a way that will benefit Iran, because of his eagerness to get USA troops home.
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Mr Trump tweeted: "Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russian Federation over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn't good enough - that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!"
The top talking point may be how Putin and Trump navigate the election interference storm. Putin, as always, denied all.
"They're paying and they're paying more rapidly and I think North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has never been stronger than it is today", said Trump referring to defense spending commitments tied to a minimum percentage of the gross domestic product of the alliance's member states.
In Helsinki, Putin was asked if he favored Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Russian officials also often paraphrase the President's own rhetoric in an apparent effort to offer Trump validation for his complaints that he rarely gets from U.S. critics. Rand Paul of Kentucky, questioned whether demands for a Russian confession were worthwhile.
"But at the same time Iran is a good partner to us in terms of trade, economic cooperation and political dialogue". They are another country. "They want to do well and we want to do well".
Low mortgage rates not impressing potential new home buyers
One of the problems is that once rates reach rock bottom (which is pretty well where they are right now) the only way is up. This could be a good time for more young Americans to take out a Roth Individual Retirement Account or IRA for short.
However, Russia hoped the summit would be "the first step" in overcoming a crisis in relations, he said. "That's a great gift for Vladimir Putin".