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McConnell praises decision to postpone Trump-Putin meeting

McConnell praises decision to postpone Trump-Putin meeting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump at CPAC foments 2022 GOP primary wars Hawley gets boisterous ovation at CPAC for Electoral College objection   Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday voiced support for the White House's decision to postpone a second meeting between President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's Russia investigation, which he described as a "witch hunt."

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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 RyanCruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director Bottom line Ex-Trump chief of staff Priebus mulling Wisconsin governor bid 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 McCaskillThe Memo: Punish Trump or risk a repeat, warn Democrats GOP senators criticized for appearing to pay half-hearted attention to trial Hawley watches trial from visitor's gallery MORE (D-Mo.) with an attempted breach ahead of the November elections.