White House Possible Venue for Meeting between Trump, Putin

The Trump administration is considering the White House as the setting for a meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House said Monday.

“A number of potential venues, including the White House” are under consideration, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Monday, according to ABC News. However, she added that the White House had nothing further to say at that time.

Her confirmation that the White House is considering extending an invitation to the Russian president comes at a time of heightened tensions between the two countries and in response to reports that a Kremlin aide had told Russian reporters on Monday that Trump had directly proposed the idea of a face-to-face at the White House during a March 20th phone call between the two leaders.

President Trump had previously noted that he would most likely meet with his Russian counterpart “in the not-too-distant future” to talk about “the arms race.” However, the White House didn’t publicly say that it was being considered as a venue for the possible meeting with Sanders saying at the time that there were “no specific plans made at this time.”

The press secretary confirmed the possibility of a White House meeting on Monday, only after a Kremlin aide broke the news.

“When our presidents were talking on the telephone, Trump proposed to hold a first meeting in Washington, in the White House,” Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov had said earlier Monday, according to the Russian news outlet RBC, calling the possibility “quite an interesting and positive idea.”

The potential meeting between the two leaders comes after the United States expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers from U.S. soil in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy on United Kingdom soil, an action which Russia retaliated against by declaring it would also expel 60 U.S. diplomats from Russia.

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