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Donald Trump open to Moscow visit if Vladimir Putin formally invites him

30 July 2018

A day after another chaotic day at the White House, President Donald Trump won't be holding one of his signature mini-press conferences as he leaves the mansion Thursday morning.

"He has this invitation already and I told him about it", said Putin, speaking at the BRICs summit in Johannesburg. Nevertheless, it sends Trump a message "against the making available of current and former diplomats, officials, and members of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin", according to the resolution text.

Meanwhile, Russia and the United States are two major superpowers, and "we have a lot of nuclear weapons aimed at us, [so] we need to talk", the senator added.

He added that the possibility of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visiting Russia is not being discussed, but that Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov could meet on the sidelines of an global meeting. Mattis said there had been no decision. "And he is open to visiting Moscow upon receiving a formal invitation". Trump has defended his conduct.

Alina Polyakova, a Russian Federation expert at the Brookings Institution, said hosting Trump in Moscow gives Putin the home court advantage.

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Trump is hardly in a strong position because "the Helsinki summit was such a fiasco", said James Goldgeier of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Relations between Russian Federation and the United States have been fraught because of disputes over Russia's annexation of Crimea and allegations - denied by Moscow - of interference in American elections.

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: The majority of American voters now believe the President of Russian Federation has compromising information on the President of the United States.

During his campaign, Trump barred reporters from about a dozen media organizations - including The Washington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed - from being credentialed at his rallies, news conferences and other events, and from flying on the press charter plane. The agency quoted Putin as saying "He has, by the way, such an invitation, and I told him about it".

Putin's comments came two days after the White House said that Trump - who had invited Putin to Washington for a meeting in the fall - wanted to delay things.

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White House staffers, including the press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have sought to calm Trump in his most heated moments. That visit surfaced in the FBI investigation of Russian election activities in the form of a dossier containing allegations that Trump had spent time with Russian prostitutes there.

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said there has been no decision taken yet and Trump has been widely criticized in the country following the Helsinki summit. However, efforts to achieve detente have been fiercely resisted by USA lawmakers, including some in Trump's own Republican Party, who accuse him of being too friendly toward Putin. Not even his security advisers know what he discusses during these meetings.

Other members of the day's press pool reported the White House blamed fog in the area.

Trump has been especially harsh about the media coverage relating to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation over Russia's meddling in the USA election terming it "hoax" and other scandals plaguing his administration and CNN has been a frequent target of his ire. Trump is infuriated by any suggestion he might owe his election victory to Russian Federation.

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Donald Trump open to Moscow visit if Vladimir Putin formally invites him