White House aides reportedly tried to ignore Trump's request to set up a meeting with Putin

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty ImagesRussian President Vladimir Putin.
  • President Donald Trump reportedly asked aides to set up a US-Russia summit after an informal chat with Vladimir Putin in November.
  • Top aides from the National Security Council reportedly sidelined Trump’s request by ignoring and waiting to see if he brought the subject again.
  • Trump has been criticised for his outreach to Russia, particularly after the Obama administration severed US-Russian ties following Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
  • Trump is reportedly expected to meet Putin during the NATO summit in July.

Top aides from the National Security Council reportedly sidelined President Donald Trump’s request for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin by ignoring and waiting to see if he brought the subject again, according to a Washington Post report published on Friday.

Trump privately asked aides to set up a US-Russia meeting after an informal chat with Putin during the the Asia-Pacific summit at Vietnam in November, US officials said. Trump shook hands and spoke briefly with Putin.

“After that meeting, the president said he wanted to invite Putin to the White House,” one official said to The Post. “We ignored it.”

National Security Council aides were reportedly hesitant to oblige that request, and decided to “wait and see if he raises it again,” an official told The Post.

Trump has been criticised for his outreach to Russia before, during, and after his 2016 election, because of that country’s role in meddling with the US electorate via elaborate influence campaigns on social media. In March, public backlash was especially fierce after Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his reelection victory, a move that Trump’s aides advised against. Some lawmakers sought to remind Trump that elections aren’t exactly fair in Russia.

“I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also),” Trump claimed in a tweet following the widespread rebuke.

Trump is expected to meet Putin for the NATO summit in July, several officials said to The Post. On Friday, Trump told reporters that a summit with Putin could be “possible.”

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