Trump invites Putin to White House
by Harvest Prude
Posted 7/20/18, 01:41 pm
With the Helsinki summit barely in the rearview mirror, President Donald Trump on Thursday invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the White House this fall. The announcement came after three days of mostly negative reaction to Monday’s meeting between the two world leaders despite Trump’s view that Helsinki was a success. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that Trump asked national security adviser John Bolton to handle the invitation. But the news caught U.S. intelligence officials by surprise. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell informed Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats of the invitation during a live interview. Coats leaned forward and said, “Say that again.” Then he drew a deep breath, laughed, and added, “OK. That’s going to be special.” Putin last visited the White House in 2005 under invitation from President George W. Bush.
Meanwhile, Democrats want the U.S. interpreter who attended Trump and Putin’s private session on Monday to talk. Republicans blocked one Democratic move to subpoena the interpreter to testify in a closed-door hearing.
Earlier Thursday, the White House refused Putin’s offer for the United States to interview the 12 Russians indicted for election interference in exchange for Russian officials interviewing Americans, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who Russia accuses of unspecified crimes. After first describing a joint U.S. and Russia investigation as an “incredible offer,” Trump backtracked just before the Senate voted unanimously against it.
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