Pompeo 'hopeful' Trump-Putin meeting happens in DC

Pompeo 'hopeful' Trump-Putin meeting happens in DC
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight MORE said Friday that he’s “very hopeful” that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Washington, D.C., this fall.

“Those conversations are incredibly important, we have our senior leaders meeting all across the world with people we have deep disagreements with,” Pompeo told reporters.

“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.

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"I think this makes enormous sense and I’m very hopeful that that meeting will take place this fall," he said.

The White House said Thursday that Trump had directed national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to visit D.C. in the fall, an announcement made days after the two leaders met one-on-one in Finland.

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell broke news of the invite to Trump's Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsEx-Trump official says intel community's testimony interfered in US-North Korea talks Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE during an interview at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday.

"Say that again?” Coats asked Mitchell before laughing in front of the audience.

“Did I hear you right?” he jokingly asked, amid laughs. “OK, that’s gonna be special.”

Some lawmakers, including several GOP senators, are pushing back against Trump holding a second meeting with Putin so soon after Monday’s summit in Helsinki, where Trump sparked backlash by appearing to side with Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump attempted to walk back the comments in a statement Tuesday, saying he accepted the U.S. intelligence community's findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election before adding that it "could be other people also."

The president said during an interview with CBS News on Wednesday that he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling.