Following the Helsinki Summit, President Donald Trump has formally invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington in the fall. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement Thursday via Twitter.

After receiving Trump’s request, national security adviser John Bolton extended the invitation to Putin earlier Thursday, according to the National Security Council. The president also took to Twitter to celebrate the news, noting that he looked “forward to our second meeting.”


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Putin has yet to respond.

Once again, it seems Trump failed to discuss the matter with top U.S officials before making the controversial request. When informed of the breaking news during a live interview, U.S Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats seemed taken aback and even laughed.

“Say that again?” he asked. “That’s gonna be special.”

Days after the leaders’ private meeting, top U.S officials admit they are still in the dark. During a Pentagon press conference Thursday, officials were reticent, claiming they had been given little to no information concerning what had transpired behind closed doors.

“For us right now it’s kind of steady as she goes. We have received no further direction,” said Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command. “I’m not privy to any kind of grand bargain discussion or anything like that.”

The announcement came shortly after the Senate voted 98-0 in opposition to the U.S. government allowing Russia to question U.S. officials. During the summit, Trump had lauded the “tremendous offer” brought forward by Putin and was still considering it up until Thursday. Officials later announced that the president had since turned down the offer. “It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” said Sanders.

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