Putin seeking meeting with Trump
Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday extended an invitation to meet with President Trump through a spokesman who emphasized the need to build a relationship between the two nations.
Putin adviser Dmitry Peskov said on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos that Trump and the Russian president should “meet each other and exchange views” in order to build a relationship between the two nations.
He said this just moments after Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said she does not trust Putin and that “there’s no love” in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia.
A number of investigations are underway in Washington over the extent of Russia’s involvement in hacking last year’s U.S. presidential elections.
Democrats are pressing the idea of Trump’s complicity with Russia in the hacking scandal. Trump as recently as Saturday prodded the press to stop covering the story, labeling it “fake news.”
The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are currently investigating Russia’s hacking of the U.S. election last year, including whether or not U.S. officials leaked information to Russia officials.
Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was fired earlier this year for misleading Vice President Pence about his meeting with the Russian ambassador during the transition period after the election. His attorneys said Flynn is offering to testify before the committee, but only if he is given immunity.
Meanwhile, Russian officials continue to dismiss the accusations of interference in the election. “They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise, it all begins to look unseemly,” Peskov said in December, when the Obama administration was still in power.
Putin himself recently addressed the allegations enigmatically.
“Watch my lips: No,” Putin said on Thursday after being asked by a journalist if any evidence would be found that Russia ran an influence campaign on the U.S. election. Putin was referring to a promise by George H.W. Bush that he would not raise taxes as president — a promise that turned out not to be true.
FBI Director James Comey said last month that his agents are investigating Russian involvement in the presidential election, including whether there was coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.