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Biden's Putin moment can't escape Trump's shadow: The Note

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The TAKE with Rick Klein

The goal is not a "reset," or even a show of comity for the ample cameras. And one key character will be far away though hardly forgotten.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday faces perhaps the biggest moment of his presidency so far, with a highly choreographed summit in Geneva with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It's a golden and high-stakes opportunity for Biden to put his own mark on American leadership -- and part of a case Biden is eager to make.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden arrives for an EU-US summit at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on June 15, 2021. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: President Joe Biden arrives for an EU-US summit at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on June 15, 2021. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images)

For all that, the shadow of former President Donald Trump looms. Putin doesn't want Biden to forget his predecessor, and doesn't want Trump to forget him, either -- even playing to the former president's ego in the run-up to the summit.

For their part, the Biden White House let out word that among those the president has consulted with is Fiona Hill, who was by Trump's side during his infamous joint news conference with Putin. Hill would later say she considered faking a medical emergency to distract the media when Trump sided with Putin over the judgment of his own intelligence community.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, July 16, 2018. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, July 16, 2018. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)

The staggering range of issues Biden and Putin have to discuss are reminders of how much America's policies toward Russia changed with the change of administrations. Hacking attacks, human-rights abuses, diplomatic expulsions, military build-up in Ukraine -- these areas and more showcase how far removed the world is from the mutual admiration Trump and Putin exchanged publicly.

Putin and Biden are expected to hold separate news conferences Wednesday to put their own spin on what happens behind closed doors, in meetings that could last four hours or longer.

PHOTO: Then Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (Alexei Druzhinin/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: Then Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. (Alexei Druzhinin/AP, FILE)

"I've been doing this a long time," Biden reminded reporters this week, saying he was being cautious in what he said about Putin before the summit.

Biden gave Putin something he wanted by even having the summit, though Putin has also been meeting with American presidents for a long time. Memories of the last president will linger a while longer, too.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

Attorney General Merrick Garland unveiled the Department of Justice plan to disrupt, deter and address the root causes of domestic terrorism -- which more specifically will aim to combat violent white supremacist extremism.

Garland's announcement came with a caveat Republicans, particularly those who cite free speech concerns in their wariness of domestic terror investigations, may welcome.

PHOTO: Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during an event at the Justice Department, June 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during an event at the Justice Department, June 15, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)

"In America, espousing a hateful ideology is not unlawful," said Garland Tuesday. "We do not investigate individuals for their First Amendment protected activities."

The strategy calls for increasing information shared between local and state law enforcement agencies with federal officials and implementation of a new system to track domestic terror.

Currently, there is no domestic terrorism law on the books and without one prosecuting domestic terrorists is complicated and tracking crimes considered to be domestic terrorism is more difficult. This new Justice Department strategy does not include a recommendation that any such law be put forth in Congress.

The plan comes as Garland finds himself in the spotlight as it relates to both the Trump DOJ leak probe and the current administration's pledge to push back on Republican-led efforts across the country to restrict access to the ballot box.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

After a whirlwind day of meetings on Capitol Hill, Texas Democrats will cap their Washington visit on Wednesday by getting some face time with Vice President Kamala Harris.

The meeting will further highlight Democrats' push to pass federal legislation to address voting rights. It will also put the spotlight on the vice president for her role in leading the charge on a major priority issue for the Biden administration.

PHOTO: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an event marking the ninth anniversary of the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on June 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an event marking the ninth anniversary of the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on June 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win Mcnamee/Getty Images)

Harris faces significant challenges as her party's two holdouts, Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, continue to dig in on stances that complicate ongoing negotiations. On Tuesday, the two Senate Democrats were absent from the slate of meetings held between their Capitol Hill colleagues and the Texas legislators. Two of the visiting state representatives, Trey Martinez Fischer and Jasmine Crockett, did meet with top members of Manchin's staff and indicated optimism about future negotiations.

"We're willing to come back on our own nickel, to meet with anybody who will meet with us because one thing was very clear from that meeting with Senator Manchin's office -- voting practices in West Virginia are way different than voting practices in Texas," Martinez Fischer said.

ONE MORE THING

President Joe Biden holds a high-stakes summit with President Vladimir Putin at what the leaders agree is a "low point" in the U.S.-Russia relationship. The two men will face off inside an 18th-century Swiss villa in Geneva, situated alongside a lake in the middle of the Parc de la Grange. Follow along for live updates.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Wednesday morning's episode features ABC "Good Morning America" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos, who previews President Joe Biden's summit Wednesday with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Former San Bernardino police chief and ABC News contributor Jarrod Burguan explains what can be done to stem the tide of deadly gun violence we've seen this summer. And ABC News' Anne Flaherty explains how unvaccinated children could be compromised by the "vaccine honor system." http://apple.co/2HPocUL

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses the results of New Jersey’s and Virginia’s primary elections and looks at the debate playing out between the two parties over how much taxes wealthy Americans and corporations should be paying. They also consider whether a new poll showing a rebound in America’s reputation abroad is a good or bad use of polling. https://apple.co/23r5y7w

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

ABC News presents special coverage of President Joe Biden's one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Comprehensive coverage will air on ABC, ABC News Digital, ABC News Radio, NewsOne and will stream on ABC News Live. "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir will lead coverage for the ABC network from Geneva. At 3:30 a.m. EDT, President Joe Biden receives the president’s daily brief. At 7:10 a.m., Biden greets Swiss President Guy Parmelin at Villa La Grange in Geneva. He poses for photos with Parmelin and Putin at 7:25 a.m. At 7:35 a.m., Biden and Putin begin a bilateral meeting, which is expected to continue until 10:40 a.m. Afterwards, Biden holds a press conference and then begins traveling back to Washington. Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra appears before the House Education and Labor Committee for a hearing at 9 a.m. on the department's budget. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee has a business meeting at 9:30 a.m. to consider the nominations of Robin Carnahan to be administrator of General Services, Jen Easterly to be director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, and Chris Inglis to be national cyber director. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield appears before the House Foreign Affairs Committee for a hearing at 10 a.m. on the Biden administration's priorities for engagement with the U.N. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appears before the Senate Committee on Finance for a hearing at 10 a.m. on the department's budget. Vice President Kamala Harris meets with Democratic members of the Texas State Senate and Texas House of Representatives at 11:15 a.m. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland appear before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for hearings on their department budgets at 10 a.m. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appears before the subcommittee at 2:30 p.m. for a hearing on his department's budget. Inspector General of the U.S. Capitol Police Michael Bolton appears before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee for a hearing at 2:15 p.m. on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough appears before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs for a hearing at 3 p.m. on the department's budget. Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff travels to Memphis, Tennessee, participates in a canvass kick-off event with community members at Douglass High School at 4 p.m. CDT and tours a vaccination site at the Pipkin Building at Liberty Bowl Stadium at 5:25 p.m. CDT.

Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

Biden's Putin moment can't escape Trump's shadow: The Note originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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