Pelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress

Pelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress
© Greg Nash

House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi claims NBC is trying to 'undermine' her potential Speaker bid Pelosi: Trump engages in racism 'constantly' Tom Steyer: Pelosi is wrong about Trump impeachment push MORE (Calif.) is making it clear that even if Russian President Vladimir Putin pays a visit to Washington in the fall, he is not welcome in Congress.

“The notion that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMattis defends reversing his stance on Trump's 'Space Force' Pelosi: Trump engages in racism 'constantly' Tom Steyer: Pelosi is wrong about Trump impeachment push MORE would invite a tyrant to Washington is beyond belief," Pelosi said in a statement on Friday, referring to Putin as a "thug."

"Putin’s ongoing attacks on our elections and on Western democracies and his illegal actions in Crimea and the rest of Ukraine deserve the fierce, unanimous condemnation of the international community, not a VIP ticket to our nation’s capital," she continued.

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“President Trump’s frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment, and a grave threat to our democracy. An invitation to address a Joint Meeting of Congress should be bipartisan and Speaker Ryan must immediately make clear that there is not – and never will be – an invitation for a thug like Putin to address the United States Congress.”

GOP leaders have said that there is no invitation for Putin to address Congress should he accept President Trump's offer to visit Washington in the fall.

“There is no invitation from Congress,” a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublican strategist: Trump is 'driven by ego' Senate GOP campaign arm asking Trump to endorse McSally in Arizona: report Poll: Three-quarters of Americans say Nancy Pelosi should be replaced, including half of Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) told The Hill this week.

"The only one talking about inviting Putin to address Congress is Nancy Pelosi," a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump ally suspends reelection campaign Congress should prohibit members from serving on company boards VAWA reauthorization: Even if the Democrats lose, they win? MORE (R-Wis.) told outlets on Friday.

Senate Republicans have sought to dissuade Trump from holding another summit with Putin after blowback to his meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki this week.

The meeting sparked days of controversy after Trump appeared to side with Putin's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election over the assessment of his own intelligence chiefs, forcing the White House to go into damage control.

On Thursday, the White House said that Trump had directed his national security adviser John Bolton to extend an invitation for Putin to visit the White House in the fall. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTurkish president: US set deadline to release detained pastor Pompeo discusses new sanctions in call with Russian counterpart The Hill's Morning Report: Where the Mueller probe stands MORE said Friday he is "hopeful" that such a meeting takes place.

“It is incredibly valuable to the people of the United States of America that President Trump and President Putin continue to engage in dialogue to resolve the difficult issues that our countries face between each other,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered the most recent speech before a joint session of Congress in April while visiting Washington for a state visit.