Donald Trump to invite Vladimir Putin to the White House | News | DW | 19.07.2018
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Donald Trump to invite Vladimir Putin to the White House

US President Donald Trump has doubled down on his efforts for better ties with Russia, saying the Helsinki summit was a success. The US president now hopes to host Putin in Washington before year's end.

Just three days after his controversial summit in Helsinki, President Donald Trump is said to have asked his national security adviser to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House. The White House announced the plan on Twitter, indicating that the meeting could take place before the end of the year.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that Trump had asked national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington in the autumn.

Trump's appearance with Putin in Helsinki was met with a strong backlash from across the political spectrum. In particular, critics rejected his acceptance of Putin's denial that Moscow had meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Upon his return to the US, the president caused confusion when he went back and forth on whether he believed Putin. Ultimately, he said he had personally warned Putin against election meddling in the future.

Read more: Donald Trump: post-summit cartoons satirize 'Putin's poodle'

Earlier on Thursday, the US president tweeted that he was looking forward to meeting with Putin again to continue discussing the issues that were raised in the summit. Trump also told his followers that the Helsinki meeting was a success, except for "the real enemy of the people, the Fake News media."

Among the issues that he planned to discuss at a future meeting with Putin were "stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyberattacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more."

Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, criticized Trump, tweeting that election security and the American people were the "biggest losers" this week.

Read more: Donald Trump supporters shrug off Putin summit scandal

Intelligence chief in dark

Trump's director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, was unaware of the invitation that had been extended to Putin until he was notified while on stage at the Aspen Security Forum.

Coats said he was also not aware of the content of the private the president's private conversation with Putin.

On whether Putin and Trump should have had one-on-one talks, Coats said it remained the "president's prerogative." "If he would have asked me how it should be conducted, I would have suggested a different way," Coats added.

jcg/rc (Reuters, AFP)

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