MSNBC analyst explains why Trump has nothing to gain — and everything to lose — in Putin meeting
Natasha Bertrand (MSNBC)

President Donald Trump plans to meet one-on-one with Russian president Vladimir Putin, without any aides present, and that's worrying to allies and foreign policy experts.


Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, said he fears the two leaders meeting alone, and MSNBC analyst Natasha Bertrand said Trump had already made concessions to Putin ahead of their private chat.

"It's pretty shocking," Bertrand said. "We've already seen that the president has begun to make concessions to Putin."

"He has said that he would not rule out recognizing Crimea as part of Russia because the majority of Crimeans speak Russian," she continue. "He is also deliberated on whether or not Russia should be part of the G8, should rejoin, even though they were kicked out because they invaded Crimea and eastern Ukraine."

She explained the risks of meeting alone with another world leader, particularly one as cunning as Putin.

"He now wants to have a one-on-one meeting with Putin with no record, no note takers, no witnesses, no official anything," Bertrand said. "Of course, Putin is going to go in very prepared. He's known to put on the charm and Trump is very susceptible to flattery."

Bertrand said the president was starting from a terrible negotiating position by giving away an important bargaining chip.

"With regard to Trump's negotiating chips, it doesn't really seem like he has any because we've already seen that he is denying that Russia interfered in the 2016 election," she said. "He's trying to cast doubt on the intelligence community's assessment about that. If he doesn't go in there prepared to confront Putin about the election meddling, what is the United States really going to get out of this?"