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Dan Coats’s stunned reaction to being told Trump had invited Putin to the White House

WASHINGTON — Unbowed by swirling criticism of his summit encounter with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump swiftly invited the Russian chief to the White Home this fall for a second get-together. Cleanup from the primary has continued with no letup and Trump belatedly determined Putin’s “unbelievable supply” of shared U.S.-Russia investigations was no good in any case.

A White Home assembly could be a dramatic extension of legitimacy to the Russian chief, who has lengthy been remoted by the West for actions in Ukraine, Syria and past and is believed to have interfered within the 2016 presidential election that despatched Trump to the presidency. No Russian chief has visited the White Home in practically a decade.

Trump requested Nationwide Safety Adviser John Bolton to ask Putin, and “these discussions are already underway,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders mentioned Thursday. Trump earlier had tweeted that he seemed ahead to “our second assembly” as he defended his efficiency at Monday’s summit, by which the 2 leaders conferred on a variety of points together with terrorism, Israeli safety, nuclear proliferation and North Korea.

“There are lots of solutions, some simple and a few onerous, to those issues … however they’ll ALL be solved!” Trump tweeted.

There was no instant response from the Kremlin to the invitation.

Information of the invite appeared to catch even the president’s high intelligence official unexpectedly.

“Say that once more,” Nationwide Intelligence Director Dan Coats responded, when knowledgeable of the invitation throughout an look on the Aspen Safety Discussion board in Colorado.

“OK,” he continued, pausing for a deep breath. “That is going to be particular.”

Trump meets Putin at Helsinki
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake palms as they meet in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The announcement got here because the White Home sought to wash up days of confounding post-summit Trump statements on Russian interference within the 2016 election. Trump’s public doubting of Russia’s duty in a joint information convention with Putin on Monday provoked withering criticism from Republicans in addition to Democrats and compelled the president to make a uncommon public admission of error.

Then on Thursday, the White Home mentioned Trump “disagrees” with Putin’s supply to permit U.S. questioning of 12 Russians who’ve been indicted for election interference in trade for Russian interviews with the previous U.S. ambassador to Russia and different Individuals the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes. Trump initially had described the thought as an “unbelievable supply.”

The White Home backtrack got here simply earlier than the Senate voted overwhelmingly towards the proposal. It was Congress’ first formal rebuke of Trump’s actions from the summit and its aftermath.

Requested in regards to the Putin invitation, Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan mentioned “I would not do it, that is for rattling positive.”

“If the Russians need a greater relationship, journeys to the White Home aren’t going to assist,” he added. “They need to cease invading their neighbors. They need to cease meddling in our elections.”

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