Russia ‘open’ to Putin-Trump DC meeting

Russia ‘open’ to Putin-Trump DC meeting
© Getty Images

Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. said the country is “ready for discussions” about a possible second meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the White House this fall.

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov on Friday said that it's important to “deal with the results” of the leaders’ meeting on Monday before moving onto a second summit, The Associated Press reported.

“Russia was always open to such proposals. We are ready for discussions on this subject,” Antonov said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The White House on Thursday said that Trump had asked national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington for a second meeting. The Kremlin will make the final decision on whether to accept the White House's invitation.

The two leaders met in Helsinki on Monday, speaking for nearly two hours behind closed doors before holding a joint press conference. Trump has faced intense scrutiny for his handling of Russia in the days since the summit.

The prospect of a second summit is being met with pushback from lawmakers, including Republican senators. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.) told The Hill that Putin does not have an invitation to Congress if he makes the trip to D.C.

The AP reported that Antonov also confirmed a report that Trump and Putin had discussed a referendum on eastern Ukraine during the meeting, saying that Putin made “concrete proposals” to Trump on how to handle the ongoing conflict.

Sources told Bloomberg that Putin had floated holding a referendum in separatist regions of Ukraine to allow residents to determine their status, after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.