The White House might just receive an official guest from the Kremlin in the fall of this year. According to the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Russian President Vladimir Putin may come to the White House in the autumn of 2018 as President Donald Trump will reportedly invite him. But has Putin ever been to the White House before? The Russian leader is no stranger to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
In a tweet on Thursday, Sanders said, "In Helsinki [Donald Trump] agreed to ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs. President Trump asked [National Security Adviser John Bolton] to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway."
If the Russian leader decides to visit America, this won't be his first time in the country. In fact, Putin visited the White House in November, 2001. During George W. Bush's presidency, the Russian president visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but also got to see the former president's Texas ranch. In 2003, he visited the United States once again, but this time he went to New York City where he checked the New York Stock Exchange. That same year, he went to the United Nations building in the city where he attended a General Assembly congregation in 2003.
As far as the 2001 trip went, Bush seemed happy about Putin's visit. "This is a new day in the long history of Russian-American relations, a day of progress and a day of hope," the former president said.
Sanders tweet on Trump reportedly seeking to invite Putin comes only a few days after the president convened with the Russian leader in Helsinki. It was a press conference that sparked intense criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. Be it liberals or conservatives, the running consensus on media seemed to be that Trump had delivered a weak performance in front of Putin.
Even House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke about the conference and said, "The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy."
In spite of the backlash, Trump appears eager to meet Putin. On Thursday, Trump called "fake news media" the "real enemy of the people" and then added, "I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed." These "things" would apparently include, according to him, "stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea, and more."
Trump finally added, "There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems but they can ALL be solved!" For now, all that remains to be seen is whether Bolton will comment on the possibility of inviting Putin to the White House — and if Putin says yes to the idea after all.