The Kremlin is reporting that President Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the White House, a move that would be enormously controversial as many bipartisan critics have argued that the U.S. leader has done little to properly condemn Moscow's election meddling and its apparent attacks on overseas nationals. Andrew Beatty, a reporter for AFP, tweeted that "a senior U.S. official does not deny Trump floated the idea of a White House summit, but no planning has begun as yet."
Putin last visited the United States in 2015, when he stopped by New York City for the United Nations General Assembly and held a meeting with former President Barack Obama. Putin rejected an invitation to meet Obama at the White House in 2012.
Trump has made a number of moves to thaw relations between the U.S. and Russia, telling Politico in 2017 that he planned to extend an invitation to Washington to Putin. "I don't think this is the right time," Trump said last July, "but the answer is yes, I would. Look, it's very easy for me to say, 'Absolutely, I won't.' That's the easy thing for me to do, but that's the stupid thing to do."
On Monday, Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters: "When our presidents spoke on the phone, Trump suggested having the meeting in Washington at the White House. This is quite an interesting, positive idea." Trump spoke to Putin last month to congratulate him on his re-election.