President Trump has decided to delay his next meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Washington until sometime next year, the White House said Wednesday, citing the special counsel’s ongoing investigation.
“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,” said national security adviser John R. Bolton, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The White House said last week that Mr. Trump intended to host Mr. Putin in Washington sometime this fall.
Mr. Trump had directed Mr. Bolton to pursue another meeting with the Russian leader after last week’s summit in Helsinki, Finland. The president received heavy bipartisan criticism after that meeting for failing to confront Mr. Putin publicly about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Mr. Mueller is investigating whether there was any collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Some lawmakers have questioned the propriety of hosting Mr. Putin in Washington before the midterm elections in November, at a time when U.S. intelligence officials say Russia is again actively trying to meddle in the U.S. election system.