Now Playing
Magic 102.1 FM

Hurricane Michael

Posted: July 20, 2018

Trump invites Putin to Washington this fall, apparently surprising DNI Dan Coats

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was
Chris McGrath, Getty Images
President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was "looking forward" to a second summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, expected to happen this fall.

By Lauren Padgett, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

President Donald Trump is planning a second summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this fall, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

 

“President Trump asked (national security adviser John Bolton) to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway,” Sanders tweeted.

Trump followed up with tweets reaffirming the “success” of last week’s summit with Putin in Helsinki, stating he is “looking forward” to meeting Putin again to “begin implementing” issues discussed at the summit.

>>Related: Trump says Russia no longer targeting US, contradicting intelligence officials

 

Bolton extended the invitation to Putin on Thursday, a National Security Council spokesperson told CNN.

>>Related: Trump morphs into Putin on latest Time cover

Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. said Moscow is ready to discuss a possible visit to Washington.

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said Friday that Russia “was always open to such proposals. We are ready for discussions on this subject.”

However, Antonov said it is up to the Kremlin to formally respond.

The Kremlin has not commented on Trump's proposal.

The news of another meeting between the two leaders seemed to surprise Dan Coats, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

During a live Q&A at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell interrupted their chat to announce the breaking news when it happened.

 

“The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall,” Mitchell said.

“Say that again?” Coats asked as the crowd bursts into laughter.

After a few moments, Coats said, “OK. That’s going to be special.” 

Coats also said during the forum that he does not know what the two world leaders discussed during the summit in Helsinki. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report


Related

Photos: Trump, Putin meet at Helsinki summit

Antti Aimo-Koivisto/AP

Photos: Trump, Putin meet at Helsinki summit

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are having their first stand-alone meeting Monday at a highly anticipated summit in Helsinki.

Russian government accuses FBI of 'political put-up job' after suspected foreign agent indicted

AP Photo

Russian government accuses FBI of 'political put-up job' after suspected foreign agent indicted

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the FBI of “implementing a political put-up job” after authorities arrested a Russian national over the weekend on allegations that she illegally acted as an unregistered foreign agent.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities on Sunday arrested Mariia Butina, a 29-year-old Russian citizen living in Washington, D.C., on suspicion of “conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General,” according to the Justice Department. In a criminal complaint released Monday, authorities accused Butina of failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Russian woman arrested, charged with illegal political activities in U.S.

In a pair of tweets attributed Wednesday to Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the foreign ministry wrote that officials were dismayed to learn of Butin’s arrest.

“We are dismayed by the reported arrest of Russian citizen Maria Butina in the US on July 15,” Zakharova said, using an alternative spelling of Butina’s first name. “It looks as if the FBI, instead of carrying out their responsibility of fighting crime, is implementing a political put-up job set to it by forces that are whipping up anti-Russia hysteria in the US.”

Justice Department officials allege that Butina schmoozed with influential people and organizations in the U.S. in order to advance the interests of Russia.

“From as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank,” Justice Department officials said Monday in a news release. 

>> Who is Mariia Butina, the woman charged with acting as a Russian agent in the US?

Authorities added that the unnamed official was among the 24 Russian oligarchs and senior Russian government officials sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for profiting from the country’s illegal and subversive activities in the U.S. and abroad. 

Butina was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a hearing. Prosecutors are expected to argue that the 29-year-old should be held without bail ahead of trial because she is a flight risk, NPR reported.

Who is Mariia Butina, the woman charged with acting as a Russian agent in the US?

A Russian national was charged in federal court Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States.

Mariia Butina, 29, was charged with “undertaking activities without officially disclosing the fact that she was acting as an agent of the Russian government.” The criminal complaint accused Butina of failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. That is the same charge filed against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The affidavit in the complaint claims that Butina corresponded with a Russian official using email, Twitter and other electronic means, and worked with two U.S. citizens in an effort to influence American politics.

According to the Justice Department, “from as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank. This Russian official was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018.”

Butina served as the deputy to Alexander Torshin, a former member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and the deputy head of the Central Bank of Russia. He is believed to be the “Russian Official” named in court papers.

Torshin was among the 24 Russian oligarchs and senior Russian government officials sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department this year for profiting from the Russian government’s illegal and subversive activities in the United States and around the world. They were banned from the United States.

The two U.S. citizens mentioned in the affidavit were not named in the complaint. One is described as an “American political operative,” and the other as having email communications with Butina about setting up dinners between Russians and influential Americans in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

The charges were filed by Justice Department national security prosecutors, not special counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Butina’s arrest came 48 hours after the U.S. indicted 12 Russians for cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Here is what we know from the indictment about Butina and what she is accused of doing.

  • The indictment said that Butina was attempting to "establish a 'back channel' communication for representatives of the Government of Russia."
  • She is a Russian national who entered the United States in August 2016 on a student visa. She studied international relations at American University in Washington D.C.
  • She is a former Siberian furniture store owner.
  • She co-founded a Russian gun rights group called the Right to Bear Arms.
  • In the complaint, Butina is accused of trying to infiltrate an unnamed “gun rights organization” believed to be the National Rifle Association. She described the organization as “the largest sponsor of the elections to the U.S. Congress.” 
  • Butina made contact with NRA members, attended NRA meetings in the United States and hosted NRA executives and gun activists in Moscow.
  • According to court documents, Butina told associates that what she was doing in the United States was approved by Putin.
  • Butina asked Trump a question about US-Russia relations during FreedomFest in Las Vegas in July 2015. FreedomFest, according to its organizers, is “an annual festival where free minds meet to celebrate great books, great ideas, and great thinkers in an open-minded environment. It is independent, non-partisan, and not affiliated with any organization or think tank.” Butina asked Trump, “My question will be about foreign politics. If you will be elected as president, what will be your foreign politics especially in the relationships with my country? And do you want to continue the politics of sanctions that are damaging of both economy [sic]? Or you have any other ideas?" 
  • Court documents said that an “American political operative” – U.S. Person 1 in the complaint – helped Butina to target political, business and news media officials for her plans. She met with the American political operative in Moscow, prosecutors said. The person introduced her to the gun rights organization officials.
  • U.S. Person 2 in the complaint is a U.S. citizen “who was included among the participants in a series of email communications in 2016 and 2017 that reveal Butina’s efforts to arrange a series of dinners in the District of Columbia and New York City involving Russian nationals and U.S. persons having influence in American politics.
  • Her home was searched by FBI agents in April, according to her attorney, Robert Neil Driscoll. Driscoll told U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Robinson that his client has “has been offering to cooperate with the government the entire time."

 

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

 
 
 

Amazon Alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!