26, July 2018
US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will not hold a meeting in the near future as it had been announced previously, at least not until next year.
White House national security adviser John Bolton made the announcement on Wednesday, blaming the delay on the probe into the president’s alleged collusion with Moscow in the wake of the 2016 election in the United States, Politico reported.
In a statement distributed through the White House press pool, Bolton (pictured below) suggested that the so-called Russia probe would end by the end of this year and that his boss would come through it unscathed.
“The president believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the year,” Bolton said.
This is while special counsel Robert Mueller has no hard deadline and there have been no indications about when the investigation would end.
The decision is apparently part of the administration’s efforts to reduce pressure after the Helsinki fiasco.
At a press conference following the recent summit in the Finnish capital, Trump backed the Russian leader’s idea about alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election rather the American intelligence community’s.
Trump’s performance kicked off a hailstorm of criticism against Trump, forcing him to deny his comment about alleged Russian meddling.
Ever since Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, the US intelligence community has overwhelmingly maintained that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 election.
Russia has denied meddling in the election as well as being in possession of any damaging information on the US president.