AP: The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s proposed Washington meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin had been delayed until 2019, citing the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Putin had already sent signals that the fall White House meeting wasn’t going to happen.
National security adviser John Bolton said in a statement that Trump believed his next meeting with Putin should take place “after the Russia witch hunt is over,” a reference to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Bolton said they agreed the meeting would be “after the first of the year.”
In the meantime President Donald Trump’s top national security aides sought to fend off accusations the president is too soft on Russia by declaring Wednesday that the U.S. will never recognize the annexation of Crimea and by postponing a second proposed summit between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepared to face questions about last week’s Trump-Putin meeting from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the White House said Trump had opted against trying to meet with Putin this fall, as had been announced, and would instead wait until 2019. National security adviser John Bolton cited special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as the reason for the delay.