Trump's invitation to Putin draws rebukes from Democrats and his intelligence chief

Trump extends invitation to Putin,Trump-Putin,Washington

Trump was earlier criticized for failing to condemn Russia's meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election during his summit with Putin.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that discussions were underway for Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Washington, the fall. "There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems...but they can ALL be solved!"

Numerous lawmakers have criticized Trump for his post-summit statements raising doubts about Russia's interference in the 2016 US elections, and past and current intelligence community officials also differed with many of his statements. Trump's public doubting of Russia's responsibility in a joint news conference with Putin on Monday provoked withering criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike and forced the president to make a rare public admission of error.

The White House backtrack came just before the Senate voted overwhelmingly against the proposal.

Donald Trump, left, and Vladimir Putin shake hands at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland.

"By playing into Vladimir Putin's hands", he continues, "the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes overseas". Trump initially had described the idea as an "incredible offer".

Pompeo in an interview with EWTN conceded that there's been a lot of heat and very little light following that Trump-Putin press conference.

Coats said Thursday he wished the president hadn't undermined the conclusions of American intelligence agencies while standing next to Putin and felt it was his duty to correct the record.

"In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word "would" instead of 'wouldn't, '" Trump said on Tuesday.

The White House had said Wednesday it was under consideration, even though the State Department called Russia's allegations against the Americans "absurd".

In an interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "that's not going to happen".

Putin's proposal will alarm Ukrainian officials after Trump last week appeared to leave open the possibility of recognizing Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, which triggered the crisis that led to fighting in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

For Russia, the focus of the quid-pro-quo was questioning former US envoy to Russia Michael McFaul and 11 others in Moscow's case against billionaire investor and human rights activist William Browder, the driving force behind Magnitsky Act sanctions on Russian officials passed by the US Congress. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation or any other country caught posting ads, running fake news or otherwise interfering with election infrastructure.

Mr Putin said Russian Federation wanted to question United States nationals the Kremlin accuses of "illegal actions". "In the United States, in Russian Federation, or anywhere else".

"We can actually permit official representatives of the United States. into the country and they will be present at this questioning" of the 12 inside Russian Federation.

USA intelligence agencies allege Russian Federation did make a concerted effort to meddle in the vote, a charge Moscow has repeatedly denied.

Despite the bipartisan criticism, Mr Trump pointed blame at the media, tweeting: 'The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russian Federation, even a confrontation that could lead to war.



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