Trump has reportedly asked his aides to come up with 'deliverables' he can offer to Putin in their big meeting

President Donald Trump has asked National Security Council staff to come up with "deliverables" that he can offer to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany next week, The Guardian reported Thursday.

It is unclear what those "deliverables" would look like, but they could include an offer to ease sanctions — which the Trump administration has reportedly looked into at least twice since January — or to give back the Russian diplomatic compounds that President Barack Obama ordered evacuated in December. Obama issued new sanctions and closed the facilities in response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort signed on as Donald Trump's campaign manager in March 2016. A longtime Republican strategist and beltway operative, Manafort had previously served as an adviser to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich -- a pro-Russia leader who was violently ousted in 2014. Manafort resigned from his campaign position in August 2016 amid questions over his lobbying history in Ukraine for an administration supportive of Russia. The former campaign manager reportedly remained in Trump's circle during the post-election transition period.

Michael Flynn

Gen. Michael Flynn was named President Trump's national security adviser in November of 2016. Flynn reportedly met and spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, at one point discussing sanctions. Flynn originally told Vice President Pence he did not discuss sanctions -- a point the Department of Justice said made the national security adviser subject to blackmail. Flynn resigned from his position in February.

Sergey Kislyak

Outgoing Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak is the Russian official U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions -- communication Sessions denied during his Senate committee hearing testimony.

Roger Stone

Stone is a longtime Republican political consultant who served as a campaign adviser to Trump who continued to talk with the then-GOP candidate after stepping away from his adviser role. Stone claimed last year that he had knowledge of the planned WikiLeaks release of emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Stone recently admitted to speaking via direct message with "Guccifer 2.0" -- an online entity U.S. officials believe is tied to Russia. Stone says the correspondence was “completely innocuous.”

Jeff Sessions

Former U.S. senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama joined Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser in February 2016. Sessions was nominated to be U.S. attorney general by President Trump and was then confirmed by the Senate. Reports then emerged that Sessions had spoken twice with Sergey Kislyak while he was senator -- a fact that he left out of his Senate hearing testimony. Instead, he said in writing that he had not communicated with any Russian officials during the campaign season. Sessions defended himself saying he had spoken with Kislyak specifically in a senate capacity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

The American intelligence community accused Putin in Jan. 2017 of ordering a campaign to undermine trust in the American electoral process, developing a clear preference for Trump as president. "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump," the report read.

James Comey

Comey publicly confirmed in March an FBI inquiry into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. “The F.B.I., as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election,” Comey stated.

Carter Page

Page worked for Merrill Lynch as an investment banker out of their Moscow office for three years before joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser. During his time with Merrill Lynch, Page advised transactions for two major Russian entities. Page has called Washington "hypocritical" for focusing on corruption and democratization in addressing U.S. relations with Russia. While Page is someone Trump camp has seemingly tried to distance itself from, Page recently said he has made frequent visits to Trump Tower.

J.D. Gordon

Before Gordon joined the Trump campaign as a national security adviser in March 2016, he served as a Pentagon spokesman from 2005 through 2009. Like others involved in Trump-Russia allegations, Gordon met with ambassador Kislyak in July at the Republican National Convention, but has since denied any wrongdoing in their conversation. He advocated for and worked to revise the RNC language on and position toward Ukraine relations, so it was more friendly toward Russia's dealings in the country.

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The news comes on the heels of a report published by The Associated Press last week that said Trump has been pushing for a full bilateral meeting with Putin rather than just an informal "pull-aside" on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

It is unclear what Trump would ask for in return for such concessions, if anything. A former official familiar with the debate inside the White House told The Guardian that the NSC has resisted "offering anything up without anything back in return."

A White House official recently told Business Insider that the administration will not lift or alter the existing sanctions until Moscow "fully honors its commitments to resolve the crisis in Ukraine." But the White House has looked into lifting the sanctions twice since January, including once just days after the president's inauguration.

Tom Malinowski, who stepped down as Obama's assistant secretary of state for human rights on January 19, said in an interview earlier this month that if those efforts had been successful, it would have given the Russians "exactly what they wanted in exchange for absolutely nothing."

"As you would expect for a president who campaigned on getting rid of impediments to chummy US-Russia relations, his administration immediately started charting ways forward to achieving that," Malinowski said.

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Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!
Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?
Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!
Obama Administration official said they "choked" when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn't want to hurt Hillary?
Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?
Democrats slam GOP healthcare proposal as Obamacare premiums & deductibles increase by over 100%. Remember keep your doctor, keep your plan?
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Malinowski said that he and Daniel Fried, then the chief US coordinator for sanctions policy until he retired in late February, had to lobby Congress to halt the development of the sanctions-lifting package after government officials began ringing "alarm bells about possible concessions being made" to Russia.

The president's defenders say offering such concessions is a standard diplomatic technique. Others, however, have said the Russians would likely perceive an offer to roll back sanctions or return the compounds, while asking for little or nothing in return, as a sign of weakness.

"This isn't how negotiation with the Kremlin works," tweeted Molly McKew, an information warfare expert and foreign policy consultant. "If you go in prepared to offer things for ???, you already conceded too much."

But top administration and intelligence officials have reportedly been struggling to convey the gravity of the threat posed by Russia's election meddling to Trump, according to CNN.

Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee in testimony earlier this month that Trump never once asked him about Russia's interference in the US election as it related to national security in their nine conversations before he fired Comey in early May. And National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers told lawmakers in a recent closed-door briefing that he was struggling to convince Trump to accept the intelligence community's conclusions about Russia's interference, CNN reported.

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Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.
I do not think making fun of a woman's looks is acceptable. I get it every day of my life. I think that tweet is cruel - and unpresidential
The Insulter-in-Chief sinks to new lows -- and that's saying a lot. SAD and UNPRESIDENTIAL. https://t.co/xJxqseaGLl
Nobody could have foreseen that the 71 year old POTUS who's acted one way his entire life, and during campaign, would act that way as POTUS
Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office.
Here is a list of all the important policy priorities Trump advanced today by attacking Mika Brzezinski's bleeding face-lift:
FLOTUS Spox defends Trump tweet: "As [FLOTUS] stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked he punches back 10 times harder."
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This is not okay. As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women. https://t.co/sV6WDE0EUD
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I guess it's coincidence that Trump's attacks on women always involve low intelligence, hysteria and blood.
@Rosie, @megynkelly, @CarlyFiorina, @morningmika, flat-chested women, Alicia Machado...long list of women Trump's attacked. He's disgusting.
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The irony: @Morning_Joe — already a hot watch in the trump era — will get even bigger after this!
Quick reaction from 2 GOP Hill staffers to Trump attack on Mika: How does this help pass health care when he needs Murkowski and Collins?
Mika's tweet, by the way, has surpassed the president's in twitter popularity. https://t.co/gKbwl19St6
GOP Rep. Tom Reed on Trump's Mika Brzezinski tweets: "Maybe the intent is to distract from the health care debate" https://t.co/ggwGccYUum
Trump's tweet on Mika isn't just lashing out. He has long made a practice of humiliating women in public. Did it to Michelle Fields too.
We are competitors, but Joe and Mika deserve respect. Mister President this attack is beneath the dignity of your o… https://t.co/tDWFiOSg7C
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The Guardian report also follows news that the White House is pushing to remove a key portion of a new Russia sanctions bill passed by the Senate earlier this month that would require the president to inform Congress before taking any action that could alter the sanctions regime.

"There are some provisions in the Senate bill that would inadvertently impair the Treasury's ability to wield its sanctions tools (as we did the other day), risk endangering the trans-Atlantic sanctions coalition, and weaken the Administration's ability to credibly signal that it would calibrate our sanctions in response to Russian behavior," a White House official told Business Insider last week.

The official added that while the administration remains "remains committed" to the existing sanctions and to working with Congress, any effort to alter or remove those provisions "is ultimately a bid to preserve the idea of co-equal branches of government.

"This isn't about sanctions on Russia," the official said. "It is about Congress trying to usurp the executive branch's prerogative to conduct US foreign policy."

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