President Trump Touts Military, Economy at White House Easter Egg Roll

Randal Sanchez
April 3, 2018

"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 U.S. ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The leaders haven't yet made plans for a White House meeting.

The visit was offered in a phone call last month, the official said, when Mr Trump rang to congratulate Mr Putin on his re-election.

Then U.S. President congratulated Putin on his victory in the presidential election. But as with Trump's spur-of-the-moment decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a Putin meeting would require significant diplomatic groundwork to make it successful.

But their governments did not have time to arrange details before the U.S. expelled 60 Russian diplomats following the Salisbury poisoning, they revealed. Moscow responded with departure of same number of USA diplomats in Russian Federation and ordered closure of American consulate in St. Petersburg.

The invitation, nevertheless, seemed to represent Trump's efforts to cooperate with Putin on multiple global issues.

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Some politicians from Mr Trump's Republican party had criticised him for making the congratulatory call to Mr Putin.

His comments came a day after a reported "caravan" of more than 1,000 illegal immigrants were reported to be traveling from Honduras to the United States seeking asylum.

The invitation is also just the latest example of the president seeming to be on a different page from the rest of the administration when it comes to Russian Federation.

Moscow retaliated with the expulsion of an equal number of U.S. diplomats and the closure of the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg, a move the Washington saw as marking "a further deterioration" in the U.S. -Russia relations.

Mr Obama met former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev at the White House in 2010, when the pair also chowed down on burgers at a popular hamburger joint outside the capital.

"We have two USA policies on Russian Federation". "This is as bad as it can get".

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