WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump plans to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington in the autumn – an indication of the president’s intention to push ahead with his détente with Moscow despite the political storm triggered by their Helsinki summit.
President Trump has asked his national security adviser, John Bolton, to extend the invitation for a “working level” dialogue between the two leaders.
Mr. Trump was roundly criticised by Democrats and Republicans in Washington for siding with the Russian leader over US intelligence reports that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The president has had to reverse or clarify his comments a number of times since, amplifying the fallout from his joint press conference alongside Mr. Putin. There have also been concerns in Congress about the private nature of the one-on-one meetings between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealed negotiations were underway to invite the Russian leader to Washington later this year.
“President Trump asked @Ambjohnbolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway,” she tweeted.