- The Washington Times - Friday, November 8, 2019

President Trump on Friday discussed potentially taking a break campaigning in 2020 to attend an annual military celebration in the Russian capital.

Mr. Trump told reporters outside the White House that he was considering an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend next year’s May Day Parade in Moscow.

“I was invited. I am thinking about it. It’s right in the middle of our campaign season,” Mr. Trump told reporters.

“It’s a very big deal, celebrating the end of the war, et cetera, et cetera — a very big deal ,” he added. “I appreciate the invitation, it’s right in the middle of the political season, so I’ll see if I can do it. But I would love to go if I could.”

The Kremlin announced in June that Mr. Trump had been invited to attend festivities being held next year to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at the time that Mr. Trump reacted positively to the offer and that he expected to receive an official invitation.

Sen. Kamala Harris, California Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, was among the first of Mr. Trump’s critics to take a swipe at him for mulling the visit.

“Always nice to spend time with supporters on the campaign trail,” Ms. Harris quipped on Twitter.

Federal intelligence agencies in the U.S. have assessed that Mr. Putin personally authorized the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 White House race to help Mr. Trump defeat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

More recently, a coalition of federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies including the Justice, Defense and Homeland Security departments said in announcement Tuesday that Russia and other foreign adversaries will “seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions” in 2020.

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