TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • NATIONAL | WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump rages on Mueller following Times report:

US opens door to possible Trump-Putin White House meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration opened the door to a potential White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, raising the possibility of an Oval Office welcome for Putin for the first time in more than a decade even as relations between the two powers have deteriorated.

The Kremlin said Monday that Trump had invited the Russian leader to the White House when they spoke by telephone last month. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded that the White House was among “a number of potential venues” discussed. Both sides said they hadn’t started preparations for such a visit.

If it happens, Putin would be getting the honor of an Oval Office tete-a-tete for the first time since he met President George W. Bush at the White House in 2005. Alarms rang in diplomatic and foreign policy circles over the prospect that Trump might offer Putin that venue without confronting him about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election or allegations that Russia masterminded the March 4 nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent.

“It would confer a certain normalization of relations and we’re certainly not in a normal space,” said Alina Polyakova, a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Nothing about this is normal.”

Much has happened since Trump and Putin spoke in the March 20 phone call. Trump said afterward he hoped to meet with Putin “in the not too distant future” to discuss the nuclear arms race and other matters. But their call was followed by reports that Trump had been warned in briefing materials not to congratulate the Russian president on his re-election but did so anyway.

Since the call, two dozen countries, including the U.S. and many European Union nations, and NATO expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the former spy, and his daughter Yulia. Moscow has denied any involvement in the nerve attack and retaliated by expelling the same number of diplomats from each nation.

Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters Monday that when the two leaders spoke by phone, “Trump suggested to have the first meeting in Washington, in the White House,” calling it a “quite interesting and positive idea.”

Ushakov voiced hope that tensions resulting from the diplomatic expulsions wouldn’t derail discussions about a summit.

Trump has said maintaining a strong personal relationship with Putin is in the U.S. interest and has signaled to allies that he trusts his own instincts in dealing with the Russian president.

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe private discussions, said Trump raised the possibility of a White House meeting in a “casual, open-ended” fashion during the call. The official reiterated that no extensive preparations had taken place.

Talk of a White House summit comes as Trump is preparing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undetermined location. White House welcomes are typically reserved for friends and allies.

Trump has avoided criticizing Putin personally even as his administration has crossed Moscow by providing Ukraine with lethal weapons and upholding Obama-era sanctions against Russia and its shuttering of diplomatic outposts.

Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama, said the “symbolism of Putin standing in the East Room with the president at a news conference” would be a major goal for the Russian leader. “The only reason you should do it is if you’re going to obtain a concrete objective that serves America’s national security interest before the meeting,” he said.

McFaul said he feared that Trump “thinks that a good meeting with Putin is the objective of his foreign policy with Russia. That should never be the objective. That should be the means to achieve things that are actually of importance to the United States.”

Trump had already fallen under sharp criticism from some Republican lawmakers for congratulating Putin on his re-election during the call and for not raising the ex-spy’s poisoning. The fact that Trump also extended a White House invitation during that call was likely to increase concerns that Trump, when in direct contact with Putin, is inclined to offer olive branches and reluctant to raise difficult issues.

“I worry that Trump wittingly or unwittingly may be sending a more positive signal to Putin than he deserves,” said Nicholas Burns, a top State Department official during the Bush administration who also served as U.S. ambassador to NATO.

Russia’s disclosure of the invitation came the day before the leaders of three Baltic countries — Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — were to visit the White House. The three NATO nations are seen as a bulwark against Russia’s aspirations of extended influence west of its border.

Trump has met Putin twice as president, at the Group of 20 summit in Germany last summer and briefly at the Asia-Pacific economic summit in Vietnam in November.

Putin, who was president of Russia once before, visited the White House in 2005, when Bush welcomed him in the East Room as “my friend.”

Putin has been to other parts of the U.S. frequently in recent years, including a visit to the Bush family compound in Maine. Putin’s meetings with Obama occurred at international summits and along the sidelines of the United Nations gathering in New York.

Obama met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the White House in 2010, when the pair also chowed down on burgers at a popular hamburger joint outside the capital.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

Brennan gets offers for legal action on clearance revocation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that he is considering taking…

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday railed against special counsel Robert Mueller in…

White House admits error for false claim on black employment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has acknowledged error in its false claim that President…

VIDEO: Congressman Darren Soto on Grayson's Attacks During Kissimmee Debate

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-09) talks with Florida National News after…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Adam Putnam Joins Gold Star Family, Supporters in Clearwater to Kick Off Day Four of Florida First Bus Tour

Clearwater, FL - Adam Putnam kicked off day four of his Florida First Bus Tour at Frankie’s…

[VIDEO] Bernie Sanders: A Victory for Andrew Gillum an Extraordinary Step for Florida and America

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Democratic Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)…

City of Orlando’s Home-Sharing Ordinance Allows Residents to Rent a Portion of Their Home to Guests

ORLANDO, Fla. – In an effort to expose visitors to authentic Orlando experiences and provide…

VIDEO: Congressman Darren Soto on Grayson's Attacks During Kissimmee Debate

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-09) talks with Florida National News after…

SPORTS NEWS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

VIDEO: Tony Dungy Talks Ring of Honor, Jameis Winston and the Anthem

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Buccaneers head coach and NFL Hall of Famer Tony…

Horan Leads Portland Thorns to Huge Win in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Coming into Saturday night's game at Orlando City Stadium, the…

Buccaneers Prove Ready in First Preseason Match Against Dolphins

MIAMI, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Thursday, August 9 marked the start of the 2018 NFL…

Orlando Magic Unveil 30 Years of Pure Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. - As part of the Orlando Magic’s 30th anniversary celebration this upcoming season, the…

The Pride's Late Effort Doesn't Earn 3 Points in Draw with Sky Blue FC

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Entering Sunday night's game at home, the Orlando Pride had…

VIDEO: Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp Family Night Highlights

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted its Florida Blue Family Night, a…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

VIDEO: Elected Officials and Business Leaders Launch the 2018 Hispanic Business Conference

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Elected officials and HCCMO trustees launched the 2018 Hispanic Business…

VIDEO: The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro-Orlando Celebrates 25 Years of Service

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro-Orlando celebrated a quarter-century…

Hispanic Chamber To Host 2018 Hispanic Business Conference in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) will celebrate…

Zignavisual Florida Announces Corporate Re-Branding, Changes Name to iUSE Photography

MIAMI, Fla. -- Zignavisual, a leading real estate photography company serving South Florida realtors since 2016, is relaunching with…

Banco do Brasil so impressed with Valencia Students that they give more money for Student Scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla.,   June 29, 2018  -  Banco do Brasil Americas will celebrate the 2018…

VIDEO: Grenada Consul General Warren Newfield Discusses the Island Nation's Growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grenada Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General in Miami Warren Newfield,…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Aerosmith to launch residency in Las Vegas next year

NEW YORK (AP) — Aerosmith is the latest act to head to Las Vegas to…

Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town Wow Tampa on The Bandwagon Tour

TAMPA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grammy, CMA, and ACM award winning artists Miranda Lambert and…

Guardians cast issues open letter in support of James Gunn

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Pratt and his fellow “Guardians of the Galaxy” castmates are…

Carnival Graveyard: Rust In Pieces Revealed As The Next Original Haunted House Come To Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed an all-new original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror…

New Spooky Experiences Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There are more nights and new reasons to celebrate the…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Applications Now Open for Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 31, 2018, for…

Christopher Comins Donates Trauma Kits to Belle Isle Police, Launching School Safety Initiative

BELLE ISLE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Philanthropist Christopher Comins has been spotlighted in Florida National…

Carnival Graveyard: Rust In Pieces Revealed As The Next Original Haunted House Come To Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed an all-new original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror…

New Spooky Experiences Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There are more nights and new reasons to celebrate the…