Putin proposed eastern Ukraine vote to Trump in Helsinki

Frederick Owens
July 20, 2018

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a Twitter post that Trump had directed national security adviser John Bolton to issue the invitation, even though USA lawmakers and top officials in Trump's administration have not been briefed on what Trump and Putin discussed in Monday's summit with only interpreters present.

"Discussions are already underway" to prepare for the follow-up meeting, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet.

The Republican-led Senate signaled unease with President Donald Trump's shifting policies toward Russian Federation after his meeting with Vladimir Putin as the White House announced the USA president is seeking a repeat summit in Washington later this year.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats informed on stage at Aspen Security Forum that the Trump administration has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki after their summit, Trump had said that there was "zero collusion" and that he ran a "clean campaign". "OK, that's going to be special".

Earlier on Thursday, both Trump and Putin blamed forces within the United States on Thursday for marring what they called the success of their first summit, with Trump saying he looked forward to their second meeting.

He added that he did not yet know what Mr Trump and Mr Putin discussed during their meeting, at which only their interpreters were also present.

Despite the bipartisan criticism, Mr Trump pointed blame at the media, tweeting: 'The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russian Federation, even a confrontation that could lead to war.

Time's statement said its composite image "is meant to represent this particular moment in U.S. foreign policy, following the pair's recent meeting in Helsinki, Finland".

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and a vocal critic of President Trump, told reporters Thursday that requesting the translator's notes from Trump's closed-door meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland would break long-standing precedent.

Michael Dwyer  APSen. Ed Markey speaks during the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention
Michael Dwyer APSen. Ed Markey speaks during the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention

"If I were asked that question, I would look for a different way of doing it", he said. Forty-two percent of registered voters said they approved of Trump's overall job performance, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll taken after the summit.

Trump had toughened his tone about Russia on Wednesday, saying in a CBS News interview that he told the Russian president to his face during Monday's summit to stay out of America's elections "and that's the way it's going to be".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., acknowledged Thursday that Trump has had a "bad week" on Russian Federation.

The invitation comes as the White House has faced a tumultuous week in the aftermath of Trump's controversial summit with Putin in Helsinki.

Some advisers said that Coats appeared to be laughing at the president, according to the Washington Post.

Trump's appearance with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki received a strong backlash from across the political spectrum.

"We will see how things develop further, ' Mr Putin said, evoking unnamed "forces" in the USA trying to prevent any improvement in relations and 'putting narrow party interests above the national interest".

'The Summit with Russian Federation was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media, ' he tweeted.

The White House announced the plan on Twitter, indicating that the meeting could take place before the end of the year.

Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, expressed hope Thursday that "the verbal agreements between Putin and Trump will be fulfilled" - though the substance of any such understandings remain murky, not least because the main business was conducted in the two hours of discussions between the two leaders with only translators joining them.

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