President Trump has reportedly invited Vladimir Putin to the White House for a visit, according to a statement from the Kremlin. Putin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters Monday that during a March 20 phone conversation, Trump “suggested that the first meeting could be held in Washington” between the two leaders. “If everything goes well, I hope that the American side would not refuse its proposal to discuss the possibility of organizing the summit talks.” According to an Agence France-Presse reporter, a senior U.S. official did “not deny” that Trump “floated the idea of a White House summit,” noting that “no planning has begun as yet.” According to a TASS state media report, Ushakov told journalists that since the U.S. and Russia has expelled their respective diplomats from their countries, “there have been no specific discussions of a possible meeting.” He also said Russia “would like to believe that preparations for such a meeting will begin.” The news follows reports Trump congratulated Putin on his re-election over the phone on that call after his staff told him explicitly not to—as well as a suspected poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil and amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
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