President Donald Trump has asked the national security advisor John Bolton to extend an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin, thereby showing complete disregard to the criticism which followed the Helsinki Summit wherein Trump had backed Putin’s denial of any Russian involvement in 2016 US Presidential elections. Trump had to face fury of criticism for his inability to confront President Putin in public as the world held its eyes over Helsinki.
There were no details furnished about the one-on-one meeting between the two Presidents in Helsinki as it was closed to media and even the top officers were not told about the same. The invitation is seen as another milestone for Putin as it shows victory over US Intelligence claims. Putin had last visit US officially in July 2007.
Trump and Putin had labelled the Summit a great success and a big step forward in bilateral relations between the two superpowers. Trump had also gone to the extent of passing the blame on media to dwarf the achievements of the same. Trump had stated that various discussions on counterterrorism, cyber-crime, Israel, Syria, North Korea, Trade, Ukraine etc. had taken place.
The invitation had again invited criticism from various corners of US administration especially Democrats. Chuck Schumer, a top Democrat Senator has not only criticised the invitation and cautioned against another one-on-one meeting between the two Presidents whether in US, Russia or anywhere unless the details of the last one which happened in Helsinki are stated.
The last official visit by a Russian President to US was in June 2010 and is thus a rare event. White House also rejected a proposal by President Putin suggesting the presence of Russian authorities for questioning of Americans which are blamed for conduct of illegal activities. This was seen in the wake of the tough criticism which President Trump had to face due to his dismal show at Helsinki. President Trump stated later his return that he had complete faith and trust in US Intelligence but there was no collusion between his Presidential campaign and Russia. Also, no meddling is ever acceptable and US administration will do everything to ensure fair mid-term elections in November this year. President Trump was seen struggling to control damage which convince people that he had not sacrificed American interests at Helsinki. Trump also corrected himself that he misspoke during the press conference at Helsinki Many polls suggested that the disapproval rating of Trump’s performance at Helsinki was touching 42 percent.
Senators have asked for strengthening of sanctions on Russia and considering of further resolutions in a bid to reverse the outcomes of Helsinki.