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 MattisOnly Donald Trump has a policy for Afghanistan New Pentagon report blames Trump troop withdrawal for ISIS surge in Iraq and Syria Mattis returns to board of General Dynamics MORE said Friday that “no policy changes” were made at President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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 Coats10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall 11 Essential reads you missed this week Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's Russia probe.