15:11 GMT +312 December 2019
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    Donald Trump et Vladimir Poutine à Helsinki

    White House: Discussions Underway for Possible Putin Visit This Fall

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    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced in a Thursday tweet that US President Donald Trump has asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, DC, this fall.

    The invitation was issued to move forward with "working level dialogue between the two security council staffs," according to Sanders.

    ​The announcement comes as Trump faces severe backlash for his flip-flopping this week as to whether he believes Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Trump clarified on Tuesday that during his Monday meeting with Putin he'd misspoken and meant to say that he didn't see a reason why it "wouldn't" be Russia that had meddled in the election. Russia has repeatedly denied meddling in the election and allegations of collusion with the Trump campaign.

    The fall visit, if it happens, would be the fourth meeting of the two leaders, following the summit in Finland sideline meetings at events in Germany and Vietnam. 

    US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was informed of Huckabee Sanders' announcement while addressing the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. His response?

    "Say that again?…OK. That's gonna be special."


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