WASHINGTON – Unbowed by the criticism about his Helsinki summit, President Donald Trump, extended an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet in Washington, in the fall, the White House said Thursday.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter that Trump had asked the National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Putin, adding, “these conversations are already happening.” The invitation was announced hours after the president tweeted that he looked forward to “our second meeting,” as he defended his action on Monday at the summit in which the two leaders conferred on a variety of topics, including terrorism, the Israeli security, nuclear proliferation and North Korea.
“There are a lot of answers, some easy and some difficult, to these problems … but they can ALL be solved!” Trump tweeted.
The announcement of the invitation came as the White House sought to clean up to days of confusing statements about the Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Asset of the presidency. Trump’s public doubting of Russia’s responsibility in a joint press conference with Putin on Monday has provoked devastating criticism of the Democrats and Republicans together and forced the president to a rare public admission of error.
On Thursday, the White House said Trump “disagree” with Putin’s offer to exchange of the hearing of 12 Russians accused of 2016 election interference for an interview with the former ambassador of the USA.
The White House withdrew from what Trump had called Putin “incredible offer” during the Helsinki summit, the revision of the position just before the Senate voted against the plan. It was Congress’ first formal rebuke of Trump’s actions of the summit and the aftermath.
Sanders said Putin’s proposal was “made in sincerity,” but Trump “does not agree with it.” She said that the US hopes Putin will be the accused Russians, “come to the United States to prove that their innocence or guilt.”
Associated Press writers Deb Riechmann in Aspen, Colorado, and Mary Clare Jalonick and Matthew Daly, Tami Abdollah and Susannah George Washington contributed to this report.
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This story has been corrected to show the vote now underway, it cannot be cancelled.