McConnell praises decision to postpone Trump-Putin meeting

McConnell praises decision to postpone Trump-Putin meeting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal On The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday voiced support for the White House's decision to postpone a second meeting between President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin until next year.

"I think it was a good idea to put it off until next year," McConnell told Kentucky radio station WHAS on Friday.

Trump's top national security adviser John Bolton said in a statement Wednesday that the next one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin will be held "after the first of the year." He said the meeting would come after the conclusion of 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 Russia investigation, which he described as a "witch hunt."

ADVERTISEMENT

The White House sparked disbelief among congressional Republicans earlier this month after press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump had asked Bolton to invite Putin to visit the United States this fall.

The invitation came days after Trump created widespread backlash with his one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki, at which he refused during a joint press conference with Putin to condemn Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

McConnell and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer MORE (R-Wis.) both later made clear that despite an offer from the White House to visit Washington in the fall, Putin would not receive an invitation to Congress.

Asked on Friday about Putin and a separate meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, McConnell said that he doesn't "mind the visits."

"[But] I think it's important to remember, particularly with regard to the Russians, that they really aren't our friends. They invaded Crimea ... [and] messed around in our elections," he said.

The GOP leader added that there would be "serious consequences" if the Russians tried to intervene in the 2018 congressional elections.

"And for myself what I've said is we better not see the Russians' hand in the 2018 election because there are going to be serious consequences if there are," he said.

The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that Russian intelligence agents targeted Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGiuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri McCaskill shares new July 4 family tradition: Watching Capitol riot video Joe Manchin's secret MORE (D-Mo.) with an attempted breach ahead of the November elections.