Russian President Vladimir Putin is "playing with" President Donald Trump after the Kremlin hesitated to accept his invitation to Washington this autumn, said Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler.
The White House last week announced an invitation to Putin to come to the White House for a second summit meeting between the two leaders sometime during the fall. On Tuesday, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters for the Russian state news agency Tass that "practical steps to prepare for that meeting have not yet begun" and "there are also other options that our leaders may consider" for meeting instead of a second summit.
Nadler, when asked his reaction to Ushakov saying, "We need to wait for the dust to settle" before talking about a second meeting, said Putin is toying with Trump.
"He humiliated the President and now he is playing with him. Now he's just running a victory lap. Again it's insulting to the United States. And how could the President have announced that he was inviting Putin to the United States without getting an acceptance behind the scenes first?" the New York Democrat said Tuesday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
The announcement of the invitation from Trump to Putin after the extensive closed-door meeting the two had in Helsinki, Finland, was not received well by many in the Capitol. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated Tuesday that the Russian President is not invited to Capitol Hill.
"The speaker and I have made it clear that Putin will not be welcome here at the Capitol," the Kentucky Republican told reporters.
"That's something we reserve for allies," House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, had said earlier Tuesday. "Look, I am comfortable having presidents sit down and have one-on-ones with foreign leaders. But what I think matters is the message. And if the message is stop meddling in our country, stop violating our sovereignty, then I support that. But it's the message that counts."