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US, Russia: Ukraine Shaping Up to Be Hot Topic for Summit

US, Russia: Ukraine Shaping Up to Be Hot Topic for Summit

The White House has announced that the Russian President has been invited to Washington later this year, despite mounting criticism over US President Donald Trump's failure to take Vladimir Putin to task over Moscow's meddling in the 2016 US presidential polls.

U.S. prosecutors say Maria Butina, 29, exploited her close links with the powerful NRA gun lobby while posing as a visiting graduate student to endear herself with senior Republicans, guided by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's major political supporters, Alexander Torshin.

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin speak at a summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland.

Mixed messages from Trump have increased worries in Congress that the White House is not taking seriously the threat that senior officials say Russian Federation now poses to the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Putin critic, tweeted after the exchange that he'd have the ball checked for listening devices and "never allow it in the White House".

Putin pitched the idea that the USA could question the 12 Russian military officials indicted for hacking into the Democratic presidential campaign.

A Republican congressman and former Central Intelligence Agency officer, William Hurd, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times late on Thursday entitled, "Trump is Being Manipulated by Putin".

A White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity did not specify if that included Russia's interference in USA elections.

In an act laying bare a widening chasm between the President of the United States and his party, the Senate this week passed a resolution that is a direct affront to Donald Trump.

Republicans hesitate to hold Trump accountable over Putin summit
Trump maintained Tuesday's summit with Putin went "even better" than his meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. Trump's sweeping tax cuts combined with reforms in corporate regulation benefit the global economy.


"When you actually look at the substance of what this administration has done, not the rhetoric but the substance, this administration has been much tougher on Russian Federation than any in the post-Cold War era", said Daniel Vajdich, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Trump was initially warm to the proposal, proposed by Vladimir Putin, calling it "an incredible offer". Trump had viewed Porter as "an honest broker" who would "make sure" different opinions were being "faithfully presented to him".

Even for Mr. Trump, a leader who has increasingly come to cast off the constraints and guidance of aides, the him-against-the-world position proved untenable.

Putin told Russian Channel One they had discussed a range of issues, including Ukraine and mounting global trade tensions amid ongoing sanctions battles.

Coats shared in his interview with NBC's Andrea Mitchell that he still doesn't know what happened in the Trump-Putin meeting. "That's going to be special", he said, after expressing shock at the news.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio also urged the White House to "publicly and unequivocally rule it out". He was angry at the two American reporters, including one from The Associated Press, who asked questions at the Helsinki news conference.

He last visited the White House in 2005, when he met President George W. Bush, who welcomed the Russian leader in the East Room as "my friend".

Russian Federation was also seeking to interview Michael McFaul, another Putin critic who was United States ambassador to Moscow under President Obama.

"Getting along is a good thing, not a bad thing", Trump said.

In recent months, it has been reported that Trump has increasingly been acting alone when faced with such crises, passing on the advice of some of his top staffers.


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