Russia's Vladimir Putin: Donald Trump has an invitation to come to Moscow

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After the meeting last week in Helsinki, the Trump administration invited Putin to Washington.

Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russian Federation and has characterized the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a witch hunt.

"We are ready to invite President Trump to Moscow", he added, according to the state news agency RIA-Novosti.

"I understand perfectly that President Trump has a desire to hold further meetings, and I am ready for that".

The White House has taken steps in recent days to tamp down on the concerns over the United States' Russia policy sparked by the Helsinki summit, where Trump appeared to side with Putin and cast doubt on the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. "Be my guest. He has such an invitation, I told him that", Mr Putin said while speaking at the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) economic summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"The security screening process that is done for all gifts was done for the soccer ball", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email to Bloomberg.

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"I am also ready to travel to Washington, if appropriate conditions are in place for our work", the Russian president stressed. She said it didn't matter to her because she hadn't planned to be there anyway. It led to him reading out a clarification in which he said he had misspoken, mixing up the word "would" with "wouldn't". That visit surfaced in the FBI investigation of Russian election activities in the form of a dossier containing allegations that Trump had spent time with Russian prostitutes there.

Since Helsinki, Trump has tried to walk back at least some of his comments.

But Trump's press conference, in which he suggested that he believed Putin's claims that Russian had no involvement in the United States election, sparked anger and frustration even among Republicans.

And Fox News President Jay Wallace said, "We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press".

On Friday afternoon, Trump will convene a National Security Council meeting devoted to the issue of election security.

Ryan has said he did not speak to the president in the days after the Helsinki summit. His invitation for Trump to come to Moscow - whether the invitation has been formally tendered or is only in spirit - also appears to pressure Trump to show whether he is bold and disruptive enough to buck intense criticism at home.

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