President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE on Thursday said he wants to have a second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, even as he endures days of stark, bipartisan criticism over his performance at his first summit with the Russian leader Monday in Helsinki.
Trump, who at the summit appeared to put equal weight in Putin's denial of involvement in the 2016 election with the findings of his intelligence agencies that Russia did interfere in the election, pronounced the summit a huge success and said he was looking forward to meeting Putin again.
"The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media," Trump tweeted.
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........— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
....proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems...but they can ALL be solved!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
Later Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that "discussions are already underway" to invite Putin to D.C. this fall.
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.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) July 19, 2018
Trump met with Putin one-on-one in Finland, followed by an expanded meeting with aides. They then held a joint press conference, where Trump cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
He has since walked back that statement and expressed confidence in his intelligence officials, while also suggesting Russia is no longer a threat and that others may have been involved in the meddling.
The intelligence issue was not the only controversy from the summit.
Trump also discussed allowing Russia to interview U.S. citizens as part of an investigation, a move rejected by a State Department spokeswoman on Wednesday.
He was also criticized for not standing up more to Putin during the press conference. Ahead of the summit, Trump blamed the poor U.S.-Russia relationship on past U.S. governments and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation. He did not mention Russia's annexation of Crimea, its meddling in the U.S. and other elections or the death of a woman in Great Britain, who British authorities say likely died from poison meant for a former Russian double agent.
Trump has come under severe criticism from both sides of the aisle for his remarks alongside Putin.
Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.) blasted it as "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory." Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) said Trump "must appreciate that Russia is not our ally."
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) said Trump's rhetoric at the summit was "thoughtless" and "weak," and he called on Republicans to act to rein in the president. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.) called Trump's remarks "disgraceful" and lamented that his international appearances "embarrass America."
Media analysts widely panned Trump's performance. On Fox News, normally friendlier ground for the president, host Bret Baier called Trump's comments "surreal," while Fox Business host Neil Cavuto called them "disgusting."
Updated at 3:58 p.m.