Mattis denies 'policy changes' were made during Trump's meeting with Putin

Mattis denies 'policy changes' were made during Trump's meeting with Putin
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief under investigation over Boeing ties | Trump uses visual aids to tout progress against ISIS | Pentagon, Amnesty International spar over civilian drone deaths Pentagon watchdog probing whether acting chief boosted Boeing Overnight Defense: Judge says Trump can't implement transgender policy | Trump floats admitting Brazil to NATO | Mattis returning to Stanford MORE said Friday that “no policy changes” were made at President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE’s summit last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mattis told reporters that he spoke to White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and national security adviser John Bolton “immediately after” Trump’s closed-door meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, according to CNBC.


Lawmakers have urged the White House to reveal what was discussed during the more than two-hour meeting between Trump and Putin.

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Defense: Pentagon lists construction projects at risk from emergency declaration | Officials deny report on leaving 1,000 troops in Syria | Spy budget request nears B Trump administration requests nearly B for spy budget Dems request probe into spa owner suspected of trying to sell access to Trump MORE said last week that he did not know what was discussed between the two leaders.

One day after the summit, the Russian Defense Ministry said it was “ready” to enact the “international security” measures discussed in the meeting.

Mattis told reporters Friday that he is considering meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.

Mattis also said "there are actions underway" by the U.S. "to protect our elections or to expose any external any, by anybody, external efforts to influence the American public," according to CNBC.

Trump drew fire for his handling of Russia after he appeared to side with Putin’s denials of election interference at a press conference following the summit.

The president walked back his comments one day later, saying he misspoke at the conference and believes that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Putin said Friday that he has invited Trump to Moscow for a meeting and that he is open to a meeting with the president in Washington.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said that Trump is also open to a meeting with Putin in Moscow.

The White House had initially invited Putin for a second meeting in Washington in the fall, but said Wednesday that it would hold off on a summit until next year, citing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia probe.