Putin proposed eastern Ukraine vote to Trump in Helsinki

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Thursday that Trump has asked national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington in the fall. "I was working for a client, trying to expose a con", he said.

In November 2001, Putin flew to the U.S. on a state visit and met with George Bush in the White House.

Moscow signaled openness to another meeting between the two leaders, as Trump continued to face criticism over his first meeting with his Russian counterpart in Helsinki, where he seemed to accept Putin's denials of meddling in the 2016 election - despite findings by USA intelligence services.

In return, Mr Putin wanted permission for Russian Federation to interview Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes. Rand Paul (R-KY) objected to it because he said it exhibits "crazy partisan" hatred for President Donald Trump.

The White House had said on Wednesday it was under consideration, even though the State Department called Russia's allegations against the Americans "absurd".

"That's going to be special", he added, prompting laughter from the audience.

But Trump's National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said agreements between Russian Federation and the Ukrainian government for resolving the conflict in the Donbas region do not include any such option and any effort to organize a "so-called referendum" would have "no legitimacy".

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"I just felt at this point in time that what we had assessed and reassessed and reassessed and carefully gone over still stands", he said, "and that it was important to take that stand on behalf of the intelligence community and on behalf of the American people".

Before the White House released the statement, Sen.

Earlier Thursday, Republican senators criticized the White House for temporarily entertaining a proposal raised by Putin to interrogate Americans in exchange for assistance in the ongoing USA investigation into election interference.

And that comes as cleanup from the first meeting in Helsinki has continued with no letup.

Vladimir Putin proposed holding a referendum in war-torn eastern Ukraine when he met Donald Trump in Helsinki this week, it has been reported.

"I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism", the president said.

Trump and Putin held two hours of closed-door talks with no one else present but the interpreters.

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Foreign policy analysts also pushed back on Trump's view that the only alternative to a "good" relationship with Putin is war.

Putin had signalled after the summit with Trump that he and the US President reached several agreements.

The president blamed the "fake news" for the negativity surrounding his Putin summit, saying that pundits claiming he should have scolded Putin publicly for election meddling "are fools" who don't understand 'I want to make a deal'. The offer from Putin developed after the Justice Department indicted 12 GRU military intelligence officers for their involvement in Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 US election. She said Mr. Trump's "frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment and a grave threat to our democracy".

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, a former Central Intelligence Agency agent, said in a New York Times op-ed that Russian Federation is manipulating Trump.

"I think it's imperative that he understand that he's misjudging Putin", Graham told reporters. Instead, he delivered a rambling response, including demands for investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server and his description of Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial of meddling.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders mentioned Syria, Iran, Israel, arms control, Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its meddling in 2016 USA election as having been discussed.

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