Monday, 19 November, 2018

Putin invites Trump to Moscow, but ‘conditions need to be right’

Trump 'open' to visiting Moscow for meeting with Putin Trump Is Open To Visiting Russia If Putin Invites Him, White House Says
Ebony Burgess | 30 July, 2018, 23:59

Trump said last week he would invite Putin to Washington for an autumn meeting, a daring rebuttal to fierce criticism over their summit in Helsinki, in which he appeared to give credence to the Russian leader's assertion that Moscow did not interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.

Trump repeated claims that the federal investigation into the election was "a disaster".

The president on Friday denied knowing about a 2016 meeting his son Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign staff held at Trump Tower with a group of Russians who offered damaging information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump has a particularly fraught relationship with CNN, which he often blasts as purveyor of "fake news'".

With an eye on U.S. mid-term elections in November, a bipartisan group of senators is pushing the "DETER Act" legislation putting Putin on notice that his country would be hit with more USA sanctions if Russian Federation interferes in future polls.

His invitation for Mr Trump to come to Moscow - whether the invitation has been formally tendered or is only in spirit - also appears to pressure the United States president to show whether he is bold and disruptive enough to buck intense criticism at home.

"PRESIDENT PUTIN: (As interpreted.) Yes, I did". Both Republicans and Democrats blasted Trump for being too deferential to the Russian leader. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders first called on Jeff Mason, a White House correspondent for the Reuters news agency.

The possibility of a Trump trip to Moscow emerged on Friday, after Putin said he was ready to invite Trump - or to visit Washington.

"If I were running CNN, I would tell the news professionals to stick to the facts and avoid making disparaging comments about Trump", he told AFP.

"Say that again?" Coats asked the interviewer. "OK, that's going to be special", Coats added with a laugh.

Trump was widely criticized at home for appearing to have accepted Putin's claim in Helsinki that Russian Federation did not meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections. "I mean, we need to have the facts lead to the right conclusion, so I support the investigation, I have from the start".

The White House was under fire Wednesday for barring a CNN reporter from attending an event with the president, allegedly for having asked questions that officials objected to.

Trump touts economy: 'These numbers are very, very sustainable'
At an event on Thursday, Trump said of the GDP number, "If it has a 4 in front of it, we're happy". "This isn't a one-time shot". Private-sector economists predict growth will slow to 2.8 per cent in the third quarter, according to Bloomberg polling.

"I don't take questions from CNN", Trump said.

In what some interpreted as an act of defiance toward his critics, Trump revealed unexpectedly that he planned to invite Putin to Washington for a follow-up meeting in the fall.

As you know, the first full length bilateral meeting with trump and Putin took place on 16 July in Helsinki.

But Mr. Trump also has encouraged persistent questioning in such events, frequently answering questions on unrelated topics that he wants to discuss, sometimes for as long as 15 minutes or more.

He went on to say that he chose talking with Putin over silence.

US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the Apec Summit in Danang November 11, 2017.

Ryan has said he did not speak to the president in the days after the Helsinki summit.

According to opinion polls published Thursday, a large majority of Americans disapproved of Trump's handling of the summit - but members of his party approved by a wide margin.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) also encouraged Trump to continue pushing for a better relationship with Putin and Russian Federation at large.

Among Republicans expressing concern was Senator Lindsey Graham, a prominent voice on foreign policy. "It can not stand", said the group's president, Olivier Knox.

Relations between Russian Federation and the United States have been fraught because of disputes over Russia's annexation of Crimea and allegations - denied by Moscow - of interference in American elections.

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