Putin Receives Invitation From Trump to Visit Washington Despite Summit Uproar

Elias Hubbard
July 20, 2018

Mr Trump came under ferocious criticism in the United States following the summit for siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin against U.S. intelligence agencies over claims of Russian interference in USA elections, at a joint news conference in Helsinki with Mr Putin.

Russia's ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said Friday that the two leaders had discussed the possibility of a referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine.

Coats, whose office briefs Trump nearly daily on the most classified information on security threats to the United States, made clear that he did not agree with the president's decision to meet with Putin one-on-one, with only translators by their sides.

Coats said he wished Trump hadn't made the statement backing up the "powerful" denial by Vladimir Putin of election hacking.

The proposal would sidestep European peace efforts and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government in its battle with the pro-Russian separatists.

A Pentagon policy document said: "Our strategy will ensure Russian Federation understands that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is unacceptable".

Trump plans to invite Putin to Washington in the autumn.

"He clearly wasn't consulted before this decision was made and it shows the distance that still exists between the White House, the President and his intelligence services", USA correspondent Charles Croucher told TODAY this morning. Limited details have emerged, but Antonov said discussions included ways to cooperate on arms control and Iran's nuclear activities.

"Probably not the best thing to do", Coats said of that decision by Trump.

Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers grappled with Trump's conflicting statements about the summit and what they did not know: exactly what the two leaders discussed and what agreements, if any, were reached.

"There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems. but they can ALL be solved!"

'Okay, ' Coats said with emphasis. But he said, "Russia was always open to such proposals".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that meetings between USA and Russian presidents should become "normal" again.

Coats learned of the proposed second meeting with Putin when the White House announced it on Twitter, while he was being interviewed at the Aspen conference. Critics complained that Trump was given ample opportunity at a joint news conference on Monday to scold Putin over Russian interference in the USA election but instead accepted Putin's denials over the word of American intelligence agencies.

A day after his meeting with Putin, Trump "clarified" his statements at a press conference saying he had full faith in the conclusion of USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 U.S. election.

In the wake of a firestorm over his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump on Thursday fired back at his critics by posting an old video of Hillary Clinton.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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