President Donald Trump followed up his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki with a swift invitation for Putin to visit Washington — but it seems Putin may not be that into the idea.
Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said Russia agrees with Trump that the leaders should meet again, but maybe not one-on-one.
“There are other options which our leaders can look at,” like the meeting of G20 leaders in Argentina in November, Ushakov said, according to Reuters.
“Maybe there will be other international events which Trump and Putin will take part in.”
Trump branded his meeting with Putin a “great success” which antagonistic “fake news” media had unfairly tarred.
But Trump did admit to misspeaking on a key point during the summit, where he appeared to side with Putin over his own intelligence officials in attributing blame for the Democratic National Convention hacks that disrupted the 2016 election.
For that error, Trump’s own party widely panned his summit performance as “disgraceful,” while Former CIA Director John Brennan went as far as calling it treasonous.
At the same summit, Putin explained that he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election because Trump wants to improve relations with Russia. Russian media also praised the summit, but pointed out that Trump took heavy criticism for it at home.
Now, with vital midterm elections coming in November, Russia has backed off the idea of another one-on-one.
“After the summit you know what kind of atmosphere there is around its outcome,” Ushakov said. “I think it would be wise to let the dust settle and then we can discuss all these questions in a business-like way. But not now.”