Transcript for Kinzinger: President Trump must 'be tough' meeting with Putin at G-20 summit
Have you had any dealings with the Russians. Well, I've done a lot of business with the Russians. Vladimir Putin, have you ever met the guy. He is a tough guy. I met him once. He said very nice things about me but I have no relationship with him. I don't -- You said for three years 13, 14 and 15 you did have a relationship with him. No, look, what do you call a relationship? I mean he treats me -- I'm asking you. With great respect. I have no relationship with Putin. I don't think I've ever met him. I never met him. I don't -- You would know it if you did. I think so, yeah, I think so. That was then candidate trump. One year ago claiming he had never met with Russia's Vladimir Putin after saying in 2013 that he had. We know they will be meeting this week when they both travel to Germany for the g-20 meeting of world leaders so what can we expect? I sat down with three experts for their insights into the u.s./russia relationship. Illinois Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger a member of the house foreigns affairs committee. Robin Wright who has been traveling to Russia since the Reagan administration and Peter baker chief white house correspondent for "The New York Times" and author of "Obama, the call of history" who previously served as Moscow bureau chief for "The Washington post." I want to start with you, robin. We now know that president trump will be meeting Putin on the sidelines of the g-20. What do you expect from that meeting? I think it's going to be primarily on the sidelines. I think the white house actually doesn't want to do more than what they call Lance the boil to try to break the impasse, get the two men in the same room, but I was told by one U.S. Official that they don't want to even see the two men sit down with each other. They want this to be a brief meeting. They're standing up, they go over probably three or four different issue, one is the Ukraine. Second is Syria. Third is ISIL and a fourth some kind of mention of the hacking issue in some nyanced way. How do you do that? How do you really Lance that boil? Dos that mean he gets really aggressive? How do you do it. Doesn't seem like that's his style with Putin. Every time people want to, his own staff urges him to he tends to go friendly instead and you remember for him -- personal chemistry marys a lot so that's one thing we'll look for. Do they have personal chemistry. We saw it with China's leader and the king of Saudi Arabia. We saw it with Bibi Netanyahu and whether he can actually establish a connection with Vladimir Putin that doesn't seem politic politically perilous is the interesting question. What do you want to see from that meeting. I want to see -- it's one thing to talk. That's fine. I meet with ambassadors from all these countries and my role as a member of congress, you always have better relationships with those you actually personally get along with. That's matters. If there is chemistry as was mentioned between the two maybe that can bode for something but I think the president needs to be very clear to Vladimir Putin. Let's try to discover areas we can work together. That's fine we're two -- we're a world power. They're a great power arguably but at the same time we're not going to give any ground. We have to defend our nato allies. You're bombing hospitals with precision munitions in Syria which is totally unacceptable. You were complacent in the use of chemical weapons. You're propping up a regime that is perpetuating ISIS and that's not acceptable to us so I think have personal chemistry great but also be tough. My bet is it's a very brief meeting, you know, no more than half an hour. They don't want him actually to go in by himself. Don't want to see a repeat of the 1986 meeting between Reagan and gorbachev and broke up over star wars and trying to prevent that dynamic where they both come in strong willed. One is Russia first, one is America first and find out there's actually very little common ground. You used to live there. Yeah. He comes in this meeting how? He comes in this meeting T trying to take measure of this new president. This is the fourth president he's going to have worked with, Clinton, bush, Obama and now trump. He respects toughness. He doesn't respect weakness. He decided rightly or wrongly Obama was not a tough guy. And the question is whether or not trump acts tough. We know he can. Right? We don't know whether he will. Putin is going to be taking measure, how much can he get away with? This is not exactly what Putin would have wanted. He wanted sanctions to be lifted. He wanted a better relationship with the United States. Politically that's impossible now for president trump even if he wanted to so what he's going to look at this meeting and say, what can I get -- what can I get out of trump? How do I work with him or how do I work past him? So if you were Putin, how would you manipulate him or try to get around him from -- Who knows how to run the kgb playbook. He knows how to work people so I would appeal to the president's, you know, self-image. That's I think how you can get to the president if you're Vladimir Putin. If I'm the president, I'm going to be very aware of that and again there's nothing wrong with getting along. But what Vladimir Putin, he's a smart guy. I don't like him, smart guy. He is going to advance the cause of Russia until he hits a brick wall. He's hit a brick wall in a few areas. I think we need to make it clear your growth of the former soviet union is over. You can be a great power that's respected. Fine. But this is not going to be the old soviet union and you're meeting a new president now that's willing to stand up to that. Knowing there's this investigation going on, knowing that, you know, people are saying he's not tough enough, can he overreact? How do you walk that line. It will be interesting. What will trump say about Putin. President bush got in trouble for saying he had seen into his soul. He was seen as being too gullible in that sense. Trump can't afford politically at home you would think to seem too friendly with him because people will say, wait a second. This just shows this has been -- He comes in much stronger than trump does. Of course. I think it's been interesting. A lot of talk about him not being tough on Russia. The actions of this administration and Vladimir Putin -- and president trump are actually some of the toughest Russian hawk type measures I've seen from this government in a very long time. But I think if we back away I will raise holy hell on it because it is very important for us to make a statement that Russia does not meddle not just in our elections, here and the future but in our allies. Peter, when you hook at his foreign policy team, are there voices really being heard. You have some of the people on the staff around the president skeptical about Russia. They've discovered as you saw with the meeting with sergey lavrov, the foreign minister and released the pictures of the smile that the Taff only matters so much. In the end there's only so far they can go in directing a president. It's going to be up to him to decide what he wants to do and how he wants this meeting to play out. I want to go back to something you said. Putin goes in a stronger position. Absolutely. And even when you hook at the recent pew poll that looked at favorability ratings among world leaders and both Vladimir Putin and the president in China were viewed by the international community as having -- being willing to do the right thing more than the American president. Donald Trump only came in with 22%. So Putin is much stronger and trump looks very vulnerable at the moment both at home and in the international community. Congressman, I want -- air force reserve. Yeah. You've been up there flying. What did you fly. Rc-26. Till flying. Okay. Of course, you're in the reserve, there you go so you flew the rc-26. Till flying the rc-26. When you see what the Russians are doing buzzing our airplanes, intercepting our airplanes, a lot is Normal awean do it too but lately it seems like there's been a lot more unsafe and unprofessional behavior. It's true and, you know, these are kind of old cold war tactic, both sides do it. When you have a plane that comes within five feets of a kc-135. That's not intentional. That's a bad pilot that's not really good at intercepts and when you come within five feet that's when it becomes dangerous. You have a military of Vladimir Putin not well trained and this could escalate to some sort of incident if what's our policy right now if you had to explain to somebody towards Russia? In some ways on paper it's not that different than president Obama's, find ways to work tether where you have shared interests, you know, be tough in areas where you have conflicts whether it be Syria, Ukraine and so forth. Whether it's actually executed or not and how it's executed is the real question. I don't know if I could describe our Russian policy, I couldn't have described it on under president Obama and probably couldn't under George W. Bush. They're a competitor. Strong nation, something we need to recognize but their economy is just a little bit bigger than Illinois so they're not our equal. I think its important to engage them and I think it's important that we continue to fight for human rights which is essential to denying the next generation of terrorists their recruits and this is a long-term fight we're in when it comes to the war on terror and I think the Russians are exacerbating this by making people displaced and killing families and that's how you lead the radicalization. I think it's still evolving. The danger I think is that the Russians look at Donald Trump and they're going to play him and I'm not sure we know how to counter that or that we have the clout or leverage to do it. We will of course have full coverage of the trump/putin meeting on ABC news later this week.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.