Trump to Invite Russian President Putin to the White House

HeadlineJul 20, 2018

The White House said Thursday that President Trump will invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Washington, D.C., in the fall. News of the invitation capped a week of damage control by the White House, after Trump said at a summit with Putin in Helsinki that he didn’t see any reason why Russia would have meddled in the 2016 election. Trump’s invitation to Putin appeared to catch top administration officials by surprise. This is NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, breaking the news to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats during the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Thursday.

Andrea Mitchell: “The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.”

Dan Coats: “Say that again?”

Andrea Mitchell: “Vladimir Putin coming to the”—

Dan Coats: “Did I hear you? Did I hear you?”

Andrea Mitchell: “Yeah, yeah.”

Dan Coats: “OK.”

Andrea Mitchell: “Yeah.”

Dan Coats: “That’s going to be special.”

Not everyone in the Washington, D.C., establishment is opposed to inviting Putin to the White House. Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering told CNN today, “The president we got is the president we got. The problems we have with Russia are the problems we have with Russia. … Not talking never gets you anywhere.”

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