President Donald Trump has invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to visit America, in a move that drew startled laughter from a US intelligence chief.
“That’s gonna be special!” said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, when he was told about the invitation during a live interview.
A row is continuing over Mr Trump’s first summit with Mr Putin, in Helsinki, where they talked privately.
Opposition Democrats say there should be no more one-to-one talks.Until we know what happened at that two-hour meeting in Helsinki, the president should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin,” said the top Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, in a statement. “In the United States, in Russia, or anywhere else.”
Mr Trump’s presidency has been clouded by allegations that Russian hackers meddled in the 2016 US presidential election in his favour. The Kremlin denies the allegations.
In Helsinki, Mr Putin offered access to 12 Russians indicted in absentia by the US authorities over the alleged interference, on condition the Russian authorities could question 12 Americans over a different case. Mr Trump first praised the suggestion as “incredible” but later rejected it.Since his return from Finland, he or the White House have had to correct or clarify other comments regarding Russia, creating confusion and prompting the Democrats to demand details of his private talks with Mr Putin.