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 MattisLawmakers push back at Pentagon's possible Africa drawdown Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Trump called top military brass 'a bunch of dopes and babies' in 2017: book MORE said Friday that “no policy changes” were made at President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg 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 CoatsSchiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Rod Rosenstein joins law and lobbying firm DHS issues bulletin warning of potential Iranian cyberattack 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 MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE's Russia probe.