Earlier this week, President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for their highly anticipated summit.
Both leaders deemed the meeting a success but said there was much more to address.
On Thursday, the White House announced that Trump has already invited Putin to Washington in the Fall to continue their discussion.
“In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs. President Trump asked @Ambjohnbolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway,” tweeted Sarah Sanders, White House spokeswoman on Thursday afternoon.
Apparently, this decision was made without consulting with the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats.
“I don’t know what happened at that meeting,” said Coats, after the Trump-Putin summit.
He also found out about the plans to host Putin in the next few months after a reporter for NBC News broke the news to him at a security conference.
“Say that again,” said Coats, acting surprised. “That’s going to be special.”
Other officials also have said that they have “no idea” if the leaders came to any agreements while at the summit earlier this week.
The media (mainly liberal) is already trying to paint this as a scandal with headlines like “Trump to Invite Putin to Washington, Blindsiding His Intelligence Chief.”
“It’s unconscionable if agreements were reached that we don’t know what they are, that the president doesn’t tell us what they are,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) to the Wall Street Journal. “To hear from the Russians now that there were agreements reached and [the White House] tell us what those agreements were—it’s beyond imagination.”
However, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is supposed to meet with senators next week to debrief lawmakers on the Russia discussions.
“We can now begin to have important dialogues to put that relationship in a place where we reduce the risk to the United States from threats from Russia,” said Pompeo.
But lawmakers are getting impatient.
“Given the controversy it’s not surprising the White House is delaying the usual practice of briefing key administration officials and members of Congress on the Putin meeting—and especially on what agreements may have been made,” said Elliott Abrams, former deputy national security adviser for President George W. Bush. “But the grace period of a few days is over, and they need to get that information out.”
The announcement to invite Putin comes after “Trump rejected a proposal by Mr. Putin for Russia to question American citizens, including a former ambassador to Moscow, Michael A. McFaul, in return for giving the United States access to 12 Russian military intelligence officers indicted on charges of trying to sabotage the 2016 presidential election,” writes the New York Times.
“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” said Sanders on Thursday. “Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.”
Trump was quick to blast the media for deflecting from the real news.
“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear……..” tweeted Trump.
Author’s note: The media is trying to spin this Fall meeting as Trump going behind his administration’s back. But it means that Trump and Putin intend to actually cooperate on some things and are taking the next step to make negotiations.