Trump ‘looks forward’ to hosting Putin at the White House for second high-stakes summit after Russian president says he’s ‘ready to go to Washington’ and invites him to MOSCOW
- Putin made the statement Friday after the Kremlin had been cool to an immediate summit
- The White House said President Trump is ‘open’ to a Moscow visit
- A Washington visit for Putin would happen after the new year
- Putin and Trump met last week in Helsinki
- White House said this week they couldn’t meet until the new year because of the ‘witch hunt’
- Comments come as Trump denied having advanced knowledge of a Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians during the campaign
- Trump meets his security team Friday on election security
‘President Trump looks forward to having President Putin to Washington after the first of the year, and he is open to visiting Moscow upon receiving a reciprocal formal invitation,’ White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Friday.
Trump took heat from members of both parties after his July 16 meeting with Putin, where the president said he found Putin’s denial of election interference ‘powerful.’
The initial statement from Sanders said Trump is open to visiting Moscow after receiving a ‘formal invitation.’
‘We are ready for such meetings, we are ready to invite President Trump to Moscow. He has this invitation already and I told him about it,’ Putin said, according to a translation reported by CNN. But he said there also have to be ‘necessary conditions.’
Trump is to meet with his national security team today to discuss election security, following a report of a Russia-based effort to hack Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign.
Putin gave Trump a World Cup soccer ball at their joint press conference, and Trump lavished praise on Putin and his handling of the event.
The entreaty comes after the White House began pouring cold water on the idea.
‘The President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year,’ said National Security Advisor John Bolton.
He was referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Putin’s comments come as Trump denied having advanced knowledge of a Trump Tower meeting between his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and campaign chair Paul Manafort and Russians during the campaign.