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Trump-Putin meeting in DC pushed to 2019 due to Mueller probe, White House says

President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Russian Defence Ministry top officials and representatives of the Russian Defense Industry, at Bocharov Ruchei residence. (Klimentyev Mikhail/TASS /ZUMA Press/TNS)
July 25, 2018

The White House announced Wednesday that an anticipated meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Washington, D.C. will not be held this year as planned.

“The President believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year,” said National Security Advisor John Bolton, the Washington Post reported.

Bolton was referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.

Earlier this month, President Trump had invited Putin to Washington, D.C., this fall.

The White House had announced that Trump asked Bolton to invite Putin to Washington, D.C.

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

Trump and Putin met earlier this month 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 had also 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.

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 criticism of the media come amid backlash for his comments at the 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.