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WH: Trump now disagrees with Putin's "incredible offer" for access to indicted Russians

Trump on his meeting with Putin

The White House says President Trump "disagrees" with Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to allow the U.S. access to Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election, in exchange for interviews of Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes, including former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, whom the Kremlin accuses of committing crimes in Russia.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement on Thursday that the proposal was "made in sincerity" by Putin but Mr. Trump "disagrees with it." She says the U.S. still hopes Putin will have the 12 Russians indicted on charges brought by the Justice Department "come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt."

Putin made what Mr. Trump called an "incredible offer" during their summit Monday in Helsinki.

"I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigations with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer," Mr. Trump said.

The White House had said Wednesday that offer was under consideration, even though the State Department called Russia's allegations against the Americans "absurd."

"The president's going to meet with his team and we'll let you know when we have an announcement on that," Sanders said during Wednesday's press briefing. When pressed on whether Putin had raised the idea with Mr. Trump, Sanders said that there was "some conversation about it," but that there "wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States."

According to the proposal outlined by Putin at the Helsinki summit, Russian authorities would observe the interrogation of the Americans. In exchange, special counsel Robert Mueller would be allowed to witness the questioning of 12 Russian nationals the U.S. has indicted for allegedly participating in election interference.

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