Putin proposed eastern Ukraine vote to Trump in Helsinki

Putin proposed eastern Ukraine vote to Trump in Helsinki

At a post-summit news conference in Helsinki that generated a political crisis for Trump, the president said Putin was "strong" in denying Russian election interference, and he seemed to take Putin's word over that of us intelligence officials who are pursuing criminal charges against Russian operatives.

"OK, that's going to be special", Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said when he was informed of the possible visit during an interview Thursday.

"I think as time goes by and the President has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting, I think we will learn more".

President Trump announced on Thursday that he's looking forward to a second meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

"The Summit with Russian Federation was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media", Trump said.

The White House was finding it hard to explain statements made by Trump after the Helsinki meeting as uncertainty spread throughout the government about whether he had reached agreements with Putin on Syria and Ukraine, leaving his military and diplomatic corps in the dark, the New York Times reported.

There is little to no precedent for calling on translators to testify, but members of Congress seem alarmed at the secrecy surrounding Trump's meeting with Putin.

Mr. Antonov said it's important to "deal with the results" of the leaders' first summit before jumping too fast into a new one.

"We are all for the dialogue to be continuous and for the leaders meeting not from occasion to occasion but regularly, in order to better understand the issues and to resolve them", Antonov said.

"The notion that President Trump would invite a tyrant to Washington is beyond belief", she said.

He clarified it a day later, claiming he should have said he didn't see any reason why it "wouldn't" be Russian Federation that meddled.

Trump left the White House for his New Jersey golf club for the weekend.

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

The White House had earlier said it would consider the proposal, which Mr Trump called a "tremendous" gesture.

Sanders said in a press briefing that topics discussed on Monday included, "Syrian humanitarian aid, Iran's nuclear ambition, Israeli security, North Korean denuclearization, Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea, reducing Russian and USA nuclear arsenals, and of course, your favorite topic, Russia's interference in our elections".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that meeting may come this fall.

"This issue was discussed", Antonov said, apparently referring to the conflict itself and not a proposal for a referendum.

Trump on Thursday also accused the news media - which he again dubbed the "enemy of the people" - of distorting the summit and pining for a confrontation between the U.S. and Russian Federation, blaming reporters even as much of the coverage this week has focused on Republicans' condemnations.

Faced with yet another firestorm, the White House was later forced to undertake another course correction and on Thursday rejected the proposal in a public statement.

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