Posted: July 20, 2018
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.
In Helsinki, @POTUS agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs. President Trump asked @Ambjohnbolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) July 19, 2018
“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.
The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear........— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
....proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems...but they can ALL be solved!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
Bolton extended the invitation to Putin on Thursday, a National Security Council spokesperson told CNN.
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.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats informed on stage at Aspen Security Forum that the Trump administration has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House.— ABC News (@ABC) July 19, 2018
"Say that again," he responds. https://t.co/RBdhdILVas pic.twitter.com/TZal1Xb4Yi
“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
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are having their first stand-alone meeting Monday at a highly anticipated summit in Helsinki.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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