Trump, Putin raise possibilities of another meeting

Larry Hoffman
July 30, 2018

Russian news reports say President Vladimir Putin is ready to invite President Donald Trump to Russia and that he's willing to visit Washington if he feels the conditions are right.

In an interview with CNBC television, Trump said "getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia's a positive, not a negative".

Putin made the comments Friday at a news conference at the summit of leaders of the of BRICs countries in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The U.S. president "looks forward to having President Putin to Washington after the first of the year, and he is open to visiting Moscow upon receiving a formal invitation", she said.

Then National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday that plans for a fall visit would be delayed until 2019.

Pence also reacted to news that a CNN reporter had been barred from a White House press event on Wednesday, following questions she asked President Trump earlier in the day while she was representing the press pool. A Russian official asked earlier this week about whether Putin would travel to Washington DC suggested that the two leaders may meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina in November instead. Mattis said on Friday no policy changes came out of the summit. The agency quoted Putin as saying "He has, by the way, such an invitation, and I told him about it".

Trump rejected the criticism sparked by his Helsinki news conference with Putin and said he misspoke in a series of flip-flops over the summit.

Trump 'open' to visiting Moscow for meeting with Putin
Trump Is Open To Visiting Russia If Putin Invites Him, White House Says

The last time Trump was in the Russian capital was as a private citizen in 2013 to attend a Miss Universe beauty pageant.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow interfered to sway the vote toward Trump, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign worked with the Russians.

It is part of "a power game between Putin and Trump", said Dr Alina Polyakova, of the Brookings Institution.

Upon his return to the United States, White House staff spent almost a week attempting to walk back Trump's statements and reframe his positions, with only limited success.

Pompeo asked the senators to close their eyes to Trump's actions in Helsinki and pledged that Trump "accepts our intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election". Nevertheless, it sends Trump a message "against the making available of current and former diplomats, officials, and members of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin", according to the resolution text.

CNN also condemned the White House's decision, saying: "Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn't mean the question isn't relevant and shouldn't be asked". 'They discussed some new ideas, and they will keep working on them, ' the official said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said such invitations are reserved "for allies".

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