Trump and Putin discussed possible referendum in eastern Ukraine

Donald Trump invites Vladimir Putin to visit Washington in autumn

Trump and Putin met last week in the presidential palace in Helsinki

An interview with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats reportedly ruffled feathers in the White House, particularly after the USA intelligence chief made remarks that appeared to undercut President Donald Trump's appearance at the Helsinki summit on Monday.

Ambassador Antonov called Monday's summit in Helsinki a "key event" in worldwide politics and laughed off suggestions the two leaders made any "secret deals".

The U.S. President also opened up about his secret meeting with Putin and promised big results with U.S. -Russia relations.

He was participating in a televised interview with Andrea Mitchell at the Aspen Security Forum when the White House dropped the bomb that Putin could come to Washington at President Trump's request.

Asked whether he would extradite 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted in the United States last week for hacking Democratic Party computers, he said he could meet the U.S. government "halfway".

The secretary's denial came a day after Sanders, the White House press secretary, indicated that no final decision had been made.

"The active advancement in this direction has been helped by the agreements reached by the presidents of Russian Federation and the United States during the summit in Helsinki.", Mikhail Mizintsev, a ministry official, was quoted as saying by TASS.

Ms Sanders said the proposal was "made in sincerity" by the Russian president but Mr Trump "disagrees with it". U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC Radio Australia on Thursday the two leaders "broke some ground across a broad range" of issues.

"I've told some of the members, I know Jeanne Shaheen, I talked to her yesterday on the floor, other members have brought it up", he said. "Those conversations are incredibly important".

It was not clear whether such a meeting would take place before or after the November congressional elections in the U.S.

Pushing back against criticism of his Putin meeting, Mr Trump said on Thursday he wants another meeting with Mr Putin to start implementing ideas they discussed in Helsinki, casting the summit as a starting point for progress on a number of shared concerns.

The Russian ambassador suggested a meeting between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his US counterpart, James Mattis, adding that a group of USA lawmakers are also planning to visit Russia, according to Interfax.

USA government officials have long contended that Magnitsky's arrest and prison death were retaliation against Browder for revealing state theft conducted by Kremlin officials. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Thursday he had yet to be briefed on the private session.

The Russian government has proven to be more forthcoming.

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said the Kremlin was ready to discuss the offer made by the USA president, amid continuing domestic criticism of his first meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki.

He did not elaborate on what Putin's solutions would be.

The move may be seen as an effort to sidestep European peace efforts for Ukraine and increase the pressure on the Ukrainian government in its protracted conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas region.

The Department of Defense also announced on Friday that it would be providing $200 million in security assistance to Ukraine.

"There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems. but they can ALL be solved!"

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said Russian Federation "was always open to such proposals" and that Moscow is "ready for discussions on this subject".

Thursday, Flake gave a speech in support of a nonbinding Senate resolution that was essentially a vote of confidence in the findings of USA intelligence agencies that the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

The Time magazine cover was released just hours after the first portion of the interview aired on Wednesday, and both fueled the discussion about Mr. Trump's remarks during the press conference with Mr. Putin.

Trump, who has struggled to quiet a political uproar over his failure at Monday's summit in Helsinki to confront Putin over Russia's meddling in the 2016 US election, renewed his fierce criticism of one of his favourite targets, the news media.

All this on top of a Europe trip in which Trump criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members for not sharing mutual defense burdens and described the European Union as a trade "foe" - attacks on European institutions that Russian Federation opposes.

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