White House: Russia call for Ukraine referendum illegitimate

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Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, said that he wishes President Donald Trump hadn't met alone with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Finland.

Illustrating the gulf between Trump and some of his own advisers, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Thursday that he did not know what Trump and Putin discussed in their private meeting.

"It is utterly awesome, utterly fantastic, that no one knows what was said", Chuck Schumer, the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that meeting may come this fall.

He said it was "the president's prerogative" to keep his discussions with Putin to himself.

The cover was released just days after the two leaders' joint press conference in Helsinki, during which Mr. Trump appeared to cast doubt on the conclusion of US intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 election.

In return, Mr Putin wanted permission for Russian Federation to interview Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes.

"So ask yourself, why would Putin be trying to get Donald Trump elected president?"

Hours after Antonov spoke, the White House shot down the idea, saying the Trump administration "is not considering supporting" such a referendum.

Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) thinks Trump and Putin should "let the dust settle" from this week's summit before planning a second one.

'Coats has gone rogue, ' a White House official told the Washington Post. Sanders said the White House was considering Russia's idea of allowing its officials to interview 11 Americans - including former USA ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul - in exchange for special counsel Robert Mueller to interview 12 Russians indicted for meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

'The administration is not going to send, force Americans to travel to Russian Federation to be interrogated by Vladimir Putin and his team, ' Mr Pompeo said.

Coats's remarks reportedly ruffled feathers in the White House.

On Thursday Trump tweeted that he was looking forward to a second meeting with Putin.

This was during Putin's first term as president and then US President Bush said of the meeting: "This is a new day in the long history of Russian-American relations, a day of progress and a day of hope".

When is Putin visiting Trump in USA?

In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor Wednesday, President Trump was asked if he holds Putin personally responsible for meddling.

"I watched the president's interaction with President Putin after their one-on-one meeting".

Thursday's announcement came as the White House sought to clean up days of confounding Trump statements on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump has said on Twitter that he and Putin discussed the situation in Ukraine at the July 16 summit in Helsinki, but has not mentioned a potential referendum or provided any other details related to Ukraine.

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