Dispatch October 26, 2018

Putin’s Payout Continues with an Invitation to D.C.

Today in Moscow, John Bolton formally invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, D.C. just as Trump’s own administration determined that Russia is actively interfering in the 2018 midterms. This is part of a clear and repeated pattern of Trump turning a blind eye to Russia’s actions against the US, all the while taking steps that actually advance Putin’s foreign policy objectives.

This invitation comes just months after the disastrous Helsinki summit, where Trump:

  • Sided with the head of a hostile foreign power over his own intelligence community;
  • Failed to even challenge Putin’s denial of Russian election interference in 2016;
  • Condemned the Special Counsel investigation;
  • And left open the possibility of handing over American diplomats to be questioned by Russia.

Following the Helsinki Summit, Trump then tried to invite Putin to Washington ahead of the election. That fell through because of the intense backlash following Helsinki, but Trump apparently feels enough time has lapsed to reextend the invitation. They also now plan to meet again in Paris just after the election.

These meetings are such a concern because again and again Trump has taken steps that advance Russia’s foreign policy interests and undermine America’s. For more information, see our recent report “Putin’s Payout: 10 Ways Trump Has Supported Putin’s Foreign Policy Agenda.”