President Trump was gung-ho last week about a second summit with Vladimir Putin after their sitdown in Helsinki — but the Kremlin on Tuesday offered only a decidedly lukewarm response to the invite.
Putin’s failure to swiftly accept Trump’s invitation for a Washington summit this fall has been noticeable, Reuters reported.
Though Moscow saw the summit the two leaders held last week as a success, the fiercely negative reaction by some US politicians to Trump’s performance has taken some in Russia aback.
Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said that though Washington and Moscow agreed there was a need for another Putin-Trump meeting, Russia had not yet begun any practical preparations for a new meeting.
“There are other options [to meet] which our leaders can look at,” Ushakov told reporters, citing a meeting of G20 leaders in Argentina which starts at the end of November.
“Maybe there will be other international events which Trump and Putin will take part in.”
Ushakov did not explain why Moscow had not yet accepted Trump’s invitation.
But when he was asked for details about how Trump had behaved at the Helsinki summit, he declined, citing a desire not to inflame what he described as an already overheated political situation in the U.S…
Putin, accused of meddling in the US elections, will not be invited to address Congress or visit the Capitol if he accepts Trump’s invitation to come to Washington, Republican congressional leaders said on Tuesday.
The comments by House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reflect the unease among US lawmakers, including Trump’s fellow Republicans, to roll out the red carpet for the former KGB officer.
Ryan and McConnell rejected the idea of Putin being asked to address a joint session of Congress, typically considered an honor for visiting foreign leaders.
We would certainly not be giving him an invitation to do a joint session,” Ryan added. “That’s something we reserve for allies.”
“The speaker and I have made it clear that Putin will not be welcome up here at the Capitol,” McConnell said later.
The intelligence community has concluded that Russia used a campaign of propaganda and hacking to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to aid Trump’s candidacy, and has warned that Moscow is working to meddle in the November congressional elections.
“The Russians better quit messing around in our elections,” McConnell told reporters, adding that he was open to legislation to put pressure on Moscow. “They did it the last time. They better not do it again.”