Blow to Trump critics as Putin invited to Washington

The good personal chemistry between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at their recent summit in Helsinki is paying off.

Trump has invited Putin to visit Washington “in the fall” and discussions on the trip have already started, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday.

This will upset Democrats, some Republicans and mainstream US media who see Russia as the meddling villain during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump’s invitation to Putin comes after Democrats and media forced him to backtrack on his pro-Russia comment at Helsinki and he, in turn, left them totally confused with several U-turns on the subject.

The invite to Putin surprised National Intelligence Director Dan Coats who was briefed on the news as he was addressing a security forum in Colorado on Thursday. Putin’s visit is going to be special, Coats said with a smile.

Earlier in the day, Trump called the Helsinki summit talks with Putin a great success and hoped they would meet again soon for resolving more issues facing the world such as terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber-attacks, trade conflicts and Ukraine.

He blasted “fake news media” for their negative approach to the positive outcome of the Helsinki summit.

In Moscow, Putin accused some forces in the US of trying to sabotage what the summit had achieved.

Without naming politicians, he said some of them put their narrow party interests above the best interests of the US and were powerful enough to foist their questionable “stories” on millions of Americans.

Stressing the need for more summits with Russia, he said problems that had built up over many years cannot be resolved in a few hours.