White House confirms Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will meet

Sean Reid
April 3, 2018

Earlier in the week, the U.S., the U.K., North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and 25 other countries announced the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in British that was allegedly orchestrated by the Kremlin. Washington expelled 60 Russian diplomats and closed Russian consulate in Seattle in face of fear that it would be used as a base for espionage.

Trump triggered a political storm when he met at the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last May, a day after he fired then FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into the president's connections to Russia.

But it turns out that congratulatory phone call had another sweetener in it for Putin: an invitation to visit the White House.

Earlier, in Moscow, Putin's adviser Yuri Ushakov said that during their most recent telephone conversation, Trump proposed a meeting with Putin at the presidential mansion in Washington, Xinhua news reported.

The president thanked those who helped organize the events, including his wife and the White House Historical Association.

Tensions also continue with the U.S. investigation into alleged meddling by Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential election.

On March 20, Trump called Putin and congratulated him on his re-election in a campaign widely criticized as neither free nor fair.

"I worry that [Mr] Trump wittingly or unwittingly may be sending a more positive signal to [Mr] Putin than he deserves", said Nicholas Burns, a top State Department official during the Bush administration who also served as USA ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Bu The Donald defended his decision on Twitter, saying President Barack Obama did the same in 2012.

The Russian government, however, has denied that it was behind the attack on the former spy.

Mr McFaul said he feared that Mr Trump "thinks that a good meeting with [Mr] Putin is the objective of his foreign policy with Russian Federation".

"It's high time for us to stop blaming each other".

The Easter bunny's appearance at the White House Easter Egg roll isn't new, but that didn't stop it from sparking a ton of annual online fun.

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