Putin Pokes Fun at Official US Seal During Bolton Meeting

He had a question about the eagle
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2018 2:47 AM CDT
Putin Pokes Fun at US Seal During John Bolton Meeting
In this image released by the State Department, the front side of the Great Seal of the United States is seen.   (AP Photo/U.S. State Department)

Russian President Vladimir Putin poked fun at the official seal of the United States while hosting President Trump's national security adviser Tuesday, saying he wondered if the American eagle had plucked all the olives from the branch in its talon. While sitting down with John Bolton at the Kremlin, Putin mentioned Trump's stated intent to pull the US out of a pivotal arms control treaty. He said Moscow also was aware of Washington's doubts about extending another landmark nuclear treaty and its plans to deploy elements of missile defense in space. The Russian leader then referred to the Great Seal of the United States, which includes a bald eagle holding a bundle of 13 arrows in one talon and an olive branch with 13 olives in another, the AP reports.

"I have a question: Has your eagle picked all the olives and only has arrows left?" Putin asked with a laugh. But while underlining the differences between Russia and the US, Putin also emphasized the need to maintain a dialogue, saying he would be ready to meet with Trump in Paris during centenary commemorations next month marking the end of World War I. Putin said his last meeting with Trump in Helsinki in July was useful despite their tough discussion, adding that he would be open to meet with Trump in France "if the US side is interested in such contacts." Bolton responded that Trump would look forward to seeing Putin in Paris on the sideline of Nov. 11 events marking 100 years since Armistice Day. (Mikhail Gorbachev says Trump's move is "not the work of a great mind.")

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