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Trump invites Putin to visit Washington in early 2019, says top aide

Trump invites Putin to visit Washington in early 2019, says top aide
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE’s national security adviser John Bolton announced Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been invited to visit Washington, D.C. early next year.

Bolton said that Putin would be invited “after the first of the year” at a press conference in Georgia on Friday, according to a report by Fox News.

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“We have invited President Putin to Washington after the first of the year for, basically, a full day of consultations,” Bolton said. “What the scheduling of that is we don’t quite know yet.”

Trump asked Bolton in July to set up a second summit with Putin after the leaders met in Helsinki, Finland.

Putin’s visit the White House would mark the first time that the Russian president has visited since George W. Bush was in office, Fox News reported.

Putin visited with the former president in 2001 and 2005.

Bolton, who visited Moscow for a one-on-one meeting with Putin earlier this week, also announced that Trump would meet Putin in Paris next month on Nov. 11, the day commemorating the end of World War I. News of that meeting, which would serve as the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since the Helsinki summit, leaked out earlier this week.

That summit was widely condemned by Trump's critics at home and abroad who chastised the president's unwillingness to publicly confront Putin over Russia's interference in the 2016 election. 
 
Regional experts have also raised questions about the value of another face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. But Trump has long wanted to form a close bond with the Russian leader in the hopes of improving relations between their two countries.  
 
Trump over the summer asked Bolton to invite Putin to Washington following their summit meeting in Helsinki, which the president dubbed a "great success" despite the  widespread criticism. 
 
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that the president requested the meeting "in the fall" but Bolton's latest comments suggest that timeframe is being pushed back.