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News Wrap: Trump and Putin make plans for round two

In our news wrap Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had invited President Trump to Moscow. The White House responded that the President is “open” to the meeting and looks forward to hosting Putin in Washington next year. Also, an American plane carried precious cargo from North to South Korea: what is said to be the remains of U.S. soldiers who died in the Korean War.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    A banner economic report out today showed the strongest quarterly growth in the United States since 2014. The Commerce Department's initial estimate said the U.S. gross domestic product grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter this year. That is up from 2.2 percent last quarter.

    The president hailed the report standing outside the White House this morning, and insisted the trend would continue.

  • President Donald Trump:

    These numbers are very, very sustainable. This isn't a one-time shot. I happen to think we're going to do extraordinarily well in our next report, next quarter. I think it's going to be outstanding.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Many economists, however, question whether that pace is sustainable. We will look at what is behind the booming growth, and how the president's trade war could affect it, right after the news summary.

    President Trump is pushing back against claims that he knew in advance of a 2016 meeting between his son and a Russian lawyer. According to CNN, the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen says that then-candidate Trump approved the meeting for which Donald Trump Jr. had been promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    The president denied the accusations on Twitter today, saying "I didn't know of the meeting" and that Cohen was — quote — "trying to make up stories."

    We will look at what these latest revelations mean for the Russia probe later in the program.

    President Trump and Russia's President Putin are making plans for round two after last week's explosive Helsinki summit. Putin said this morning that he had invited Mr. Trump to Moscow. The White House responded that the president is open to the meeting and looks forward to hosting Putin in Washington next year.

    Defense Secretary James Mattis also said that he is considering talks with his Russian counterpart.

    Flying from North to South Korea today, an American plane carried precious cargo said to be the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War. It coincides with the 65th anniversary of the armistice drawing down that conflict, although it never officially ended. The transfer could mean a major promise delivered by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    Yamiche Alcindor has our report.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    A promise seemingly kept with 55 boxes.

    Today, at an American air base in South Korea, service members loaded what are believed to be the missing remains of American soldiers.

    Some 36,000 U.S. soldiers died in the Korean War. The remains returned today are just some of the 5, 300 still said to be in North Korea.

  • President Donald Trump:

    These incredible American heroes will sue to lay it rest on sacred American soil.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Hours later at the White House, President Trump welcome the move. Mr. Trump thanked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    He said Kim delivered on a commitment he made during their summit in Singapore last month.

  • President Donald Trump:

    I want to thank Chairman Kim for keeping his word. We have many others coming. But I want to thank Chairman Kim in front of the media for fulfilling a promise that he made to me. And I'm sure that he will continue to fulfill that promise, as they search and search and search.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. believes that North Korea is dismantling a missile engine testing site.

    The administration celebrated these two developments. They say it is proof that North Korea is turning the page and that it will hopefully lead to North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons.

  • James Mattis:

    This humanitarian act obviously is a step in the right direction.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Today, Defense secretary James Mattis echoed that sentiment.

  • Frank Jannuzi:

    So, the Singapore agreement had only one specific commitment from the North Korean side, which was to repatriate remains.

    And so it's pretty clear to me that they don't want to be responsible for a breakdown in this process.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Frank Jannuzi is a former State Department official. He was part of the U.S. delegation during the Clinton administration's talks with North Korea.

  • Frank Jannuzi:

    It's a good sign of their determination not to see the process fail that they are now sending these remains home. However, it may not have any bearing on their willingness to denuclearize.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Following the Vietnam War, the return of U.S. soldier remains was key to normalizing U.S.-Vietnam relations. That is something the North Koreans are well aware of, says Jannuzi.

  • Frank Jannuzi:

    They know that the recovery of the remains of U.S. soldiers was actually the central pillar of the normalization process.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    For now, U.S. experts will work to identify the remains. Meanwhile, this is just the first step and what will be a long push to get North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Pakistan has officially elected a new prime minister.

    The country's election commission declared populist Imran Khan the winner after two days of ballot counting and allegations of vote-rigging. Khan's party must now seek partners in order to form a governing coalition. The European monitoring team deemed the elections credible, but said the campaign was riddled with intimidation. The U.S. State Department also cited flaws in the process.

    On Wall Street today, markets were down after more signs of trouble at tech companies like Twitter and Intel overshadowed promising economic growth. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 75 points to close at 25451. The Nasdaq fell 114 and the S&P 500 dropped 18.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour," the strong U.S. economic growth over the past three months, we break down these latest numbers; what President Trump says he knew about his son's meeting with Russians in 2016; wildfires sweeping through the West; and much more.

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