White House defends decision to bar CNN reporter

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"He has this invitation already and I told him about it", according to CNN.

"To be clear", she continued, "we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House".

Interfax quoted Putin as saying he is ready to visit Washington "if the appropriate conditions are created there".

Both Trump and Putin have said they are determined to improve relations.

Putin said Friday that he was prepared to visit Trump in Washington and that he had also invited the president to Moscow.

Separately, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said he was considering the possibility of the first talks in years between the defense chiefs of the United States and Russian Federation.

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. No policy changes came out of the summit, Mattis said on Friday, adding he had also not been given new direction on Syria.

Trump had initially invited Putin to Washington this fall for a follow-up meeting to their Helsinki summit, but Trump national security adviser John Bolton changed the timeline this week, saying Trump now believes it should take place "after the Russian Federation witch hunt is over" and "after the first of the year". "This is outrageous", said Blitzer, a former White House correspondent.

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Steadier showers will move in late with some thunderstorms and pockets of moderate to heavy rain that could bring flash flooding. Monsoon moisture hasn't left the state, and that means rain chances are back across southern Colorado.

The spectacle of Trump in the Russian capital - the site of unproven salacious allegations in an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British spy - was likely to raise eyebrows and alarm on Capitol Hill.

"One of President Trump's big pluses is that he strives to fulfil the promises he made to voters, to the American people", Putin said.

US intelligence agencies concluded past year that Moscow waged an influence campaign to help Trump win the White House by hacking into Democratic Party computers and using fake social media accounts to denigrate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

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A U.S. special counsel is now investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian spies to manipulate the vote.

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

But speaking to reporters in South Africa, where he was attending a summit of BRICS nations, Putin said another meeting with Trump was still on the agenda.

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