“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,” John Bolton told reporters Wednesday.
The White House had earlier said that Trump would meet with Putin at the White House in the fall. The plan drew condemnation from lawmakers. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wi., said he would not invite Putin to speak before Congress during the Washington D.C. visit. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that Putin "will not be welcome" in the capitol.
The Kremlin was lukewarm on the idea of a second meeting, with a top official telling reporters Tuesday that Russia had not begun any preparations.
“There are other options (to meet) which our leaders can look at,” Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Trump and Putin met earlier this month in Finland for a closed-door two-hour meeting, the first formal get-together between the two leaders. At a joint press conference after the meeting, Trump expressed doubt that Russia had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, raising alarm among lawmakers and former intelligence officials.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has not given any public indication of when he will complete his investigation into allegations of improper ties between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. Comparable investigations have lasted for years.