The White House did not rule out the possibility that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his 12-day trip to Asia.
Asked during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday whether a Putin meeting was in the works, a senior administration official said, “The president is going to have a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines, but we’re not prepared yet to confirm those other than the ones that are being hosted by the host countries themselves.”
Story Continued Below
Asked for clarification, a White House official said, “No further details on the schedule at this time.”
Putin is expected to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, which Trump will also attend.
The senior administration official also confirmed that Trump will not visit the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea during the trip. Instead, he’ll visit U.S. troops at Camp Humphreys, which is south of Seoul.
Trump is leaving on Friday for the high-profile foreign trip, which comes as the White House is facing increased pressure after special counsel Robert Mueller revealed the first wave of indictments against former Trump campaign aides.
The White House is also trying to push forward on multiple policy fronts, especially tax reform, with Trump saying on Tuesday he would like the House to pass a tax reform bill by Thanksgiving and legislation on his desk by Christmas.
A White House official on Tuesday confirmed that Ivanka Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn will not participate in Trump’s trip to Asia, and that they’ll remain in Washington to focus on tax reform.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, will travel to Japan on Nov. 3 to participate in a series of events, but she’ll return to the U.S. before the president arrives.
In addition to Ivanka Trump, Mnuchin and Cohn, several Cabinet secretaries will also promote tax reform next week while the president is abroad, the White House official said.
White House won’t rule out a Trump-Putin meeting in Asia – Politico}