Putin Not Welcome in Congress If He Visits Washington, Leaders Say

(From RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty)

The leaders of the U.S. Congress, citing Russia’s alleged interference in U.S. elections, say they will not invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to address Congress or visit the Capitol if he accepts President Donald Trump’s invitation to a second summit in Washington this fall.

On July 24, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both rejected any friendly outreach to Putin and expressed disagreement with Trump’s embrace of the Russian president in the wake of their one-day summit on July 16 in Helsinki.

Ryan and McConnell said they had no plans to ask Putin to address a joint session of Congress, a typical honor for visiting foreign leaders.

“We would certainly not be giving him an invitation to do a joint session,” Ryan said. “That’s something we reserve for allies.”

“The speaker and I have made it clear that Putin will not be welcome up here at the Capitol,” McConnell said.

Their comments came as a top Kremlin aide on July 24 said that Putin was waiting for the “dust to settle” over his controversial meeting with Trump in Helsinki before deciding whether to take up Trump’s offer of a second summit.

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