WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSNewYork) – President Donald Trump is extending an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The news seemed to catch many by surprise Thursday, in part because the White House is still dealing with the fallout from the first summit, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
The invite came as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was being interviewed.
“OK, that’s going to be special,” he said of the news.
Coats has been sounding the alarm about the ongoing cyber threat from Russia and said even he still doesn’t know what was agreed upon in Helsinki. He also said the Trump shouldn’t have met Putin alone.
“Well you’re right, I don’t know what happened in that meeting,” he said. “I think we will learn more, but that is the president’s prerogative. If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, I would have suggested a different way.”
All this as the White House did more clarifying. On Wednesday, it confirmed the president and Putin discussed an idea to let Russia interrogate former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul in exchange for letting the U.S. talk to 12 Russian officers indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“There was some conservation about it, but there wasn’t a commitment made on behalf of the United States. And the president will work with his team and we’ll let you know if there is an announcement on that front,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
On Thursday, Sanders announced the deal is a no-go.
“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” she said in a statement.
The Senate unanimously approved a resolution Thursday warning the president not to let the Russian government question diplomats and other officials.
“I call on President Trump to say once and for all, not through his spokespeople, that the lopsided, disgraceful trade he called an incredible offer is now off the table,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Meanwhile, the president is putting pressure on the Federal Reserve. He put Chairman Jerome Powell on notice, saying he’s tired of the fed wanting to raise rates.
“I put a very good man in the fed. I don’t necessarily agree with it, because he’s raising interest rates,” Trump said.
The fed has raised interest rates twice so far this year and it’s indicating it might even twice more in 2018.
“I’m not thrilled, because we go up, and every time you go up, they want to raise rates again, and I don’t really, I am not happy about it. But at the same time, I’m letting what they feel is best,” the president added.
On another topic, Trump told CBS Evening News Anchor Jeff Glor whom he would want to face-off against in 2020.
“I dream about (Joe) Biden. That’s a dream. Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than one percent. And President Obama took him out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did. I’d love to have it be Biden,” he said.