- The Kremlin on Tuesday said Russian President Vladimir Putin does not think it’s the right time to accept President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit Washington, DC, this fall.
- The apparent snub comes the week after after Trump’s summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
- Trump on Tuesday shifted his position on Russian election interference again, claiming it’s targeting the 2018 midterms to help Democrats win.
The Kremlin on Tuesday said Russian President Vladimir Putin does not think it’s the right time to accept President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit Washington, DC, this fall. It said the two sides need to “let the dust settle” from the recent Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, Finland, according to Reuters.
Yuri Ushakov, a top Kremlin aide, told reporters there are other potential venues for the two world leaders to meet in the near future, such as a meeting with G20 leaders in Argentina set for November.
“After the [Helsinki] summit you know what kind of atmosphere there is around its outcome,” Ushakov said. “I think it would be wise to let the dust settle and then we can discuss all these questions in a business-like way. But not now.”
The apparent snub comes days after Trump expressed interest in holding a second meeting with Putin. The president last Thursday tweeted that “the Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.
“I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more,” he added.
After Trump returned from the Helsinki meeting, the White House said discussions were “underway” to host Putin in the nation’s capital.
The president faced widespread backlash over his comments at the summit with Putin, during which he appeared to side with the Russian leader over the US intelligence community regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The intelligence community said Russia interfered with an aim of aiding Trump.
Trump has since said he misspoke during the meeting and says he agrees with the US intelligence community’s conclusion that the Kremlin, under the direction of Putin, interfered in the election.
But Trump on Tuesday claimed via Twitter that Russia is planning to interfere in the 2018 midterms to aid Democrats.
The US intelligence community has stated Russia is preparing future attacks on the US electoral system, including the midterm elections, but has not speculated on a possible domestic political motive.
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