President Donald Trump plans to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington this autumn, the White House said on Thursday, four days after a summit that led to an uproar in the United States over Trump's failure to publicly confront Putin for Moscow's meddling in the 2016 US election.
Speaking later Wednesday, Sanders told reporters that Trump was saying no to answering questions, not to whether Russian Federation is still targeting the U.S. She said the administration is working to make sure Russian Federation doesn't meddle in the 2018 midterm elections.
The two leaders held a summit in Finland on Monday but few details of what they discussed have emerged.
Antonov gave details of their discussions on arms control, but said the US has been reluctant to back Russia's proposals so far. TIME tweeted the cover image with the headline of their cover story, "Trump Wanted a Summit With Putin".
What reaction is there to the planned Putin visit?
The news comes as the U.S. director of national intelligence Dan Coats revealed that he does not know what was said between the two leaders during their one-on-one meeting. Trump initially had described the idea as an "incredible offer".
"Until we know what happened at that two-hour meeting in Helsinki, the president should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin".
"It's called the Democrat hoax", Trump said.
President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin answer questions during a joint press conference after their summit on July 16 in Helsinki.
Dan Coats on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
The US leader later said he misspoke when he appeared to take Putin's denial of interference at face value and said he accepted the US intelligence community's view that Moscow sought to influence the 2016 vote.
Mr Trump may have been encouraged by recent opinion polling showing that while the public at large is uneasy with Mr Trump's Russian Federation policies, his Republican base - by a sizeable majority - is fine with his performance.
Coats On Trump: 'Obviously, I Wished He Had Made A Different Statement'
Later that evening Trump was on CBS for an interview and said Putin was only to blame "because he's in charge of the country". Sarah Sanders tweeted that discussions for the visit were already under way.
The non-binding resolution was quickly hailed as a victory of the #Resistance over the "traitor" Trump and his "puppet-master" Putin, although obviously nothing short of impeachment will do.
That offer was to allow the United States to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, in exchange for Russia being allowed to interview Americans they had accused of unspecified crimes.
What happened at Monday's one-on-one between Trump and Putin with only interpreters present remained a mystery, even to top officials and US lawmakers who said they had not been briefed.
Coats said he would have advised Trump not to meet Putin alone and hoped Trump would have "made a different statement". "Because there is no rule of law, as I said, in Russian Federation".
It restated the US intelligence community's assessment that Moscow did extensively interfere, and continues to interfere.
"The Russian effort to influence the 2016 campaign is just one tree in a growing forest", he said, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum.
The Russian claims against the Americans, including former United States ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, involve allegations of fraud and corruption.
So they're also coming out and saying, we are not with the president on this one.
Allowing a foreign government to interrogate a former American ambassador would be an unprecedented breach in protections traditionally provided to the nation's diplomats.
Those conventions have been upended by Trump's buccaneering approach to affairs of state - the kind of approach he thinks worked in his landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month.
Sanders said Trump was still weighing the offer with his team, adding, "We've committed to nothing". He also said he has faith in US intelligence agencies.
"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place", the president said.