The Latest: Trump slams media for coverage of Putin summit

President Donald Trump calls out as he arrives on Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Friday, July 20, 2018, en route to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin (all times local):

6 p.m.

President Donald Trump is again lashing out at media coverage of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After arriving Friday at his New Jersey home for the weekend, Trump tweeted: “I got severely criticized by the Fake News Media for being too nice to President Putin. In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy. If I was loud & vicious, I would have been criticized for being too tough.”

During a news conference after Trump and Putin met Monday in Finland, Trump appeared to side with Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.


On Twitter Friday, Trump also referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, writing: “Remember when they said I was too tough with Chairman Kim? Hypocrites!”


4 p.m.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says Russian President Vladimir Putin should not expect an invitation to address Congress if he visits Washington in the fall.

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong says “the only one talking about inviting Putin to address Congress is Nancy Pelosi,” a jab at the Democratic leader, who called on Ryan Friday to make it clear he will not issue an invitation “for a thug like Putin to address the United States Congress.”

Meanwhile, David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said flatly, “There is no invitation from Congress” for Putin to speak to lawmakers.

President Donald Trump has asked his national security adviser to invite Putin to Washington to follow up on a summit in Helsinki this week.


3:10 p.m.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says House Speaker Paul Ryan should make it clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t be invited to address Congress if he comes to Washington.

President Donald Trump has asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington this fall — an invitation Pelosi calls “beyond belief.”


Pelosi labels Putin a tyrant and a thug and says Trump’s “frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment and a grave threat to our democracy.”

Heads of state at times address Congress when visiting the city. Pelosi says invitations to address a joint meeting of Congress should be bipartisan.

She says Putin’s “ongoing attacks on our elections and Western democracies” deserve unanimous condemnation from the international community, “not a VIP ticket to our nation’s capital.”


12:10 p.m.

The White House says the Trump administration “is not considering supporting” a Vladimir Putin-backed call for a referendum in the eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s meeting with the Russian president.

The White House says the 2015 peace deal signed in Minsk does not include any option for referendum, and a referendum in a part of Ukraine that isn’t under government control would have no legitimacy.

The U.S. and Russia have been on opposing sides of the conflict in Ukraine, which started after a popular uprising in 2014 against Ukraine’s pro-Russian president and Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

European allies are also expected to oppose a referendum in the Donbass, where pro-Russian separatists hold sway.


11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s next meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will focus on national security concerns the leaders discussed earlier this week in Finland.

A White House official says Friday that those issues include Russian meddling, nuclear proliferation, North Korea, Iran and Syria. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss internal planning on the record. The official says the purpose is to follow up on progress achieved at Monday’s summit in Helsinki.


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Thursday that Trump has asked national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to Washington in the fall.

Word that another Trump-Putin meeting is being planned came as the White House sought to clean up days of confounding post-summit statements by Trump on Russian election interference.


12:31 p.m.

President Donald Trump has invited the Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the White House this fall for a second get-together.

And that comes as cleanup from the first meeting in Helsinki has continued with no letup. Trump belatedly decided Putin’s “incredible offer” of shared U.S.-Russia investigations was no good after all.

A White House meeting would be a dramatic extension of legitimacy to the Russian leader. He has long been isolated by the West for activities in Ukraine, Syria and beyond and is believed to have interfered in the 2016 presidential election that sent Trump to the presidency. No Russian leader has visited the White House in nearly a decade.


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