Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Intelligence Director on Putin Invite: 'Say That Again?'

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a concrete offer on war-torn Ukraine to his US counterpart Donald Trump according to Moscow's Washington ambassador Intelligence Director on Putin Invite: 'Say That Again?'
Patty Aguilar | 21 July, 2018, 10:03

Moscow is open to a possible visit by Vladimir Putin to Washington after a surprise invitation from Donald Trump, Russia's U.S. envoy has said.

Earlier Mr Trump rejected a proposal by Mr Putin that Russian Federation be allowed to question U.S. citizens.

"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, cyberattacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more".

It was the latest about-face from the White House as it struggled to quiet the post-Helsinki summit uproar.

"This issue (of a referendum) was discussed", Antonov said, adding without specifics that Putin made "concrete proposals" to Trump on solutions for the four-year Ukraine conflict, which has killed over 10,000 people.

No Russian leader has visited the White House in almost a decade and it would be a diplomatic coup for Mr Putin, who has been isolated by the West for activities in Ukraine, Syria and the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

Also a target of the president's ire was Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who issued a rare statement rebutting the president's Monday comments.

He laughed and said: "That's going to be special".

"In the old days they would call it diplomacy".

"I got severely criticized by the Fake News Media for being too nice to President Putin", Trump wrote.

Russian Federation 'open' to Vladimir Putin visiting Donald Trump at White House
Coats explained of his reasoning and his relations with Trump: 'We started a good relationship. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Thursday on CNN's New Day .

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Standing at his side, Putin dismissed the "so-called" interference as a sham, declined to deny that Russian Federation had compromising material on Trump, and offered Russia's help in analyzing US intelligence about his country's own election meddling.

The US president had initially described the proposal as an "incredible offer".

On Wednesday, the White House said Trump's answer of "no" to a reporter who asked if Russian Federation was still targeting the United States was just his declining to answer questions. It was Congress' first formal rebuke of Trump's actions at the summit and in its aftermath.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki after their summit, Trump had said that there was "zero collusion" and that he ran a "clean campaign".

On Twitter, Trump listed topics he and Putin talked about, but gave no details.

"There is no question that Russian Federation interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world", he said. He advised against a one-on-one meeting with Putin, saying he "would look for a different way of doing it".

The Russian envoy to the USA said on Friday that Moscow was "open" to the possible visit. Trump appeared to answer "no" to a reporter's question asking whether Russian Federation was still targeting the U.S. Hours later, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders emerged to say Trump had merely tried to put a stop to the questioning by saying "no", although he continued discussing Russian Federation after that. He added, however, that it was up to the Kremlin to formally respond.

Antonov called the Helsinki summit "a key event" and said that Putin and Trump should continue to be in contact after their summit.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump's goal was to "redirect" two countries "that'd been on a bad path".

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