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Trump invites Vladimir Putin to Washington, DC

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk after a meeting on the closing day of the 25th APEC Summit on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)
July 19, 2018
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This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

President Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, D.C., this fall.

The White House announced Thursday that Trump asked National Security Advisor John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington, D.C.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that discussions about the visit are already underway.

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Trump and Putin met earlier this week for a summit in Helsinki, Finland, where the two had a private meeting that lasted for more than two hours, and then held a bilateral meeting with other officials and a joint press conference.

Both leaders characterized the meeting as successful, and Trump has said that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing for the United States.

The President earlier Thursday had tweeted about a second summit with Putin.

“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. 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, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems… but they can ALL be solved,” Trump tweeted.

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Although Trump and Putin met last year at the G20 summit and the APEC summit, the Helsinki summit was the first dedicated to the relationship of the two nuclear powers.

President Trump was satisfied with the outcome of the summit and the chance to remedy the deteriorated relationship with Russia.

He expressed a desire to achieve peace instead of politics, and emphasized the positive impact the relationship would have on the world.

“The meeting between President Putin and myself was a great success, except in the Fake News Media,” Trump had tweeted.

The President’s criticisms of the media come amid backlash for his comments at a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki following their private meeting and bilateral meeting.

President Trump disagreed with the findings of U.S. intelligence analyses that ultimately led to the indictment of 12 Russian officials for allegedly meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.

Trump also criticized the credibility of U.S. intelligence agencies, leading many to conclude that he publicly sided with Russia over the United States.

Many Democrat and Republican members of Congress spoke out about Trump’s comments. Some criticized him directly for his words, while others criticized Russia.

However, Trump clarified some of his remarks the following day, saying that he misspoke in Helsinki.

“I have full faith and support for America’s intelligence agencies,” he said, adding that he accepted the conclusions by U.S. intelligence agencies.

On Thursday, Trump also posted a video montage in which several 2017 press conference clips feature him admitting that Russia was responsible for election meddling.

The video serves as a counter to continued media reports claiming Trump refuses to denounce Russia.

A recent Axios and SurveyMonkey poll revealed that 79 percent of Republicans were supportive of President Trump’s performance at the summit.

That number increased from 71 percent reported by an earlier Reuters and Ipsos poll. This may indicate increased support for the President after he clarified his position on Russian meddling.

It is unclear whether or not a second meeting between Trump and Putin is in the works.

However, it would be consistent with ongoing discussions with Russia to improve relations, as driven by Trump.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently met with his Russian counterpart, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is reportedly open to meeting with his counterpart.

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